Belgian TV teletext news coverage of Niels Albert's Torn Spleen
(photo of Albert at bottom left of article. Nice photo of Sven Nys, i must add!)
Immediately after Niels Albert crashed while warming up for Gavere Superprestige, a doctor at the race site did an initial exam and said that he will be ready to start the race.But then they called the team doctor and when he heard that Niels had a hard spot under his ribs, he said for him not to race and to bring him to hospital for a checkup.In the university hospital of Gent they saw that he tore his spleen.
He was to spend the next 24 hours in intensive care where they keep an eye on the bleeding to see if it stops. Albert was good this morning but then the pain became worse and by 4:30pm today he felt bad. There is still fluid and that gives pressure in his diaphragm and a lot of pain in his chest and his back. The spleen still has to recover which takes a few days. His stay in the Intensive Care Unit will be extended a little more. His state of mind is not too bad according to the manager. Of course this is a devastation to his season plans but he is already making new goals. Today he said he will aim for the championships.
After his stay in ICU, he will be five more days in hospital closer to his home for observation.Then he is off his bike for at least one week. After those two weeks, he will need another two weeks to get his fitness level back up.
Palmans Cras Team Manager Christoph Roodhooft said, "All this is a serious glitch in his racing plans. He can give up all the rankings GVA, Superprestige, and World Cup. I think Niels doesn t realize so far that everything is lost for this season but at this moment we focus on the next 24 hours and we hope that nothing untoward happens. We want to avoid, in every case, a surgery. Best case it will take four weeks before he can ride another race. we will have to change our plans and aim for the championships."