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Australian rider Simon Gerrans has been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games in order to undergo surgery on his left shoulder after he developed an infection in the scar tissue from his recent surgery. The Ag2r rider was set to undergo surgery in France on Thursday.
Gerrans underwent surgery five weeks ago to repair damage to his right shoulder and left collar-bone after crashing during the GP d'Ouverture in early February, but had bravely fought back to regain race fitness and form for the Melbourne games. However, early this morning doctors advised he will need further surgery to clean out the wound site and treat the infection which flared up during this week's Tirreno-Adriatico.
"While I was racing in Tirreno it swelled up and we kept icing it and settling it down but one night it didn't go down and just got more and more swollen, and then it burst and it was full of pus," said a very disppointed Gerrans. "I am shattered because I worked so hard to get going again, back fit and racing so I could compete in the Commonwealth Games and I got so close but I can't do it."
Gerrans had been due to fly out tomorrow from France to Melbourne to join the team but will instead be in hospital. "I'll go under the knife first thing in the morning (Thursday). I asked the specialist if I could still have the surgery and maybe delay my trip by a couple of days and still compete but he said not to risk it and wants me to have two weeks off the bike."
Gerrans believes it will be three weeks to a month before he will be racing again but is hoping to fly to Australia next week so he can head out to watch the road race on the final day of the Games and support the Australian team. "I'll spend three or four days in hospital to get over the surgery and then because I won't be able to race anyway I'm planning to come home for a few weeks and recover in Australia and would like to head out and cheer on the guys."
The Australian team in Melbourne have yet to announce a replacement for Gerrans.
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