Press Release: Team Saxo Bank Frank Schleck has for a long period of time been suffering from knee problems and has after consultation with team doctors made the decision to abandon this year’s Vuelta a Espana.The reason is an impending surgery which the star from Luxembourg must have on his left knee to be rid of problems.
“The problem actually began back in the Basque Country Tour in April where I was wondering about how the classics would turn out from my part. But I did OK through the spring but I could tell that my knee was not feeling as it should be.
After my break from racing everything went really well, although the problem still appeared now and then. After the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse the pain returned and I must admit that I had some really tough days during the Tour where most days darkened because of the knee. Fortunately, I managed to finish the race and make some results with the team which I am enormously proud of. But now it has come to a point where an operation is the only way out, so I can be ready again for the next season. I am sorry that this season ends like this but after all, I have been in progress continuously since February and it makes it worth while finishing the season now. The most important thing is that after surgery I can compete without pain when the new season starts”, says Frank Schleck who took his first victory in this season already on the queen stage of Tour of California. He was subsequently second in Paris-Nice, won the Tour of Luxembourg, won the mountainous 17th stage and finished fifth in the Tour de France.
The knee operation will take place on Friday at Herentals Clinic in Belgium where Dr. Toon Claes be performing the operation. To surgery will remove some problematic tissue around the knee cap and according to doctors Frank Schleck will be back on the bike after four weeks and without permanent injury.
“Frank has had big problems with his knee, and the decision to abandon the Vuelta to have surgery is the only right thing to do. He has now been riding with pain since April and the following year and in principle the rest of his career in mind we have to take the situation seriously. Fortunately, he will soon be on the operating table and although he stands in front of a long break he can easily make up for the new season. He is obviously not happy to drop out of the Vuelta and miss the World Cup and Lombardy, where he could have done really well he can, however look back on a great season and look forward to next year’s challenges without having to endure the pain”, said sports director Kim Andersen.