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Egan Bernal faces months on sidelines with spine issue

Joe Robinson
27 Oct 2020

Colombian revealed he is suffering with scoliosis which saw him abandon Tour de France

Egan Bernal faces months of recovery after the Ineos Grenadier revealed he is dealing with a spinal injury.

The Colombian rider abandoned both the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de France this summer citing back troubles. On leaving the Tour on Stage 17, Bernal said that the issues had spread to his knee and that he was 'screwed up on all sides'.

Talking to ESPN Colombia, the 23-year-old has revealed that the root of his injuries is due to having one leg longer than the other which has caused scoliosis in his spine.

'The problem is that one leg is longer than the other. I'm already thinking about next season. It's a pretty long recovery process because basically it has caused me to have scoliosis in my spine,' Bernal told ESPN Colombia.

'A disc in the spine managed to puncture the nerve that runs to the gluteus and goes down to the leg.'

Bernal then added that the issue could not be fixed by surgery and instead will need months of rehabilitation in the gym and physio in order to realign the slipped disc.

Bernal added: 'It's quite a long process and it will take not one of two months but a long time. It's going to take a reasonable amount of time for me to be free of pain again.

'I'm in Monaco doing my rehabilitation, trying my best and staying motivated for next year – setting new goals and objectives. I have a whole career ahead, so I can't keep thinking about the Tour de France that I lost, like last year I couldn't keep thinking about the Tour I won.'

The rider then posted a video to social media of him performing gym rehabilitation with the caption 'At Work!!'. 

Bernal's injury and lengthy rehabilitation process will have caused slight headaches for Dave Brailsford and the British WorldTour team as the young rider is considered the team's leading Grand Tour candidate.

However, these headaches will have been slightly alleviated with the rapid rise of 25-year-old Londoner Tao Geoghegan Hart who won the Giro d'Italia last weekend.

Geoghegan Hart's performance at the Giro will have acted as proof of his ability across three weeks and allow manager Brailsford to mull another General Classification option alongside fellow Grand Tour winners Geraint Thomas and Richard Carapaz as well as new signing Adam Yates.