Vincenzo Nibali is to have surgery on his wrist on Thursday following a training crash, making him a serious doubt for the Giro d’Italia.
The two-time winner of the race fell awkwardly in Lugano, leading to a compound fracture. Nibali will require metalwork to fix the broken bone, while his skin will also need time to heal given the nature of the injury.
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With just over three weeks to go before the Grande Partenza in Turin on May 8, the operation will leave him with little time to get ready for the first Grand Tour of the season.
Trek-Segafredo have yet to rule him out of the race, though, saying it is not possible “to hypothesise” how long it will take for him to recover.
In a statement, the team said: "Clinical examinations at a Lugano-based clinic (X-ray and CT scan) have unfortunately revealed a compound fracture of the radius of the right wrist.
"The Trek-Segafredo medical staff, in agreement with the Team management and Vincenzo, have decided to opt for an immediate osteosynthesis surgery to reduce the fracture, which is scheduled for tomorrow in Switzerland."
It could be a major blow to Nibali’s hopes for the season though, having originally targeted a Giro-Tour de France double.
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