Prognosis good for Lopez de Munain

Although he has a number of fractures and and lung damage, the prognosis is generally good for Alber

Although he has a number of fractures and and lung damage, the prognosis is generally good for Alber

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Doctors at the Giuseppe Lannello hospital in Cetraro Marina have said that Euskaltel's Alberto Lopez de Munain should make a full recovery from the injuries he received when he crashed into the roadside guardrail 46km from the finish of yesterday's second stage of the Giro.

The 33-year-old Basque rider has a fractured left collar-bone and shoulder blade, nine rib fractures, and fragments of bone have punctured one of his lungs. But two CAT scans have revealed no damage to his brain, which was the major concern after he hit the barrier headfirst and was knocked unconscious for several minutes.

Euskaltel team manager Miguel Madariaga admitted he thought the worst when his team car pulled up alongside the prone rider. "I went up to him and I saw that he was bleeding from the head. I thought he was dead," Madariaga told El Diario Vasco. "I asked the doctor who was treating him whether he was still alive. It looked really bad."

A tube was inserted into the Lopez de Munain's airway as he lay on the ground. He came round in the ambulance on the way to hospital and needed Madariaga to tell him what had happened. His first words to his team manager were: "What happened? Where am I?" The rider's damaged lung was drained when he reached hospital, but it has since regained most of its function.

Euskaltel team doctor Jos Ibarguren explained that the CAT revealed no skull fractures or bruising on the brain. Lopez de Munain will be kept under observation today, when a decision will be taken about when he can return home.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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