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Australia's McEwen may miss Tour de France for injury

Latest update : 2009-05-29

Three-time green jersey winner on the Tour de France, Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen (photo centre) could miss out on the 2009 race. The Katusha rider has undergone surgery on a fractured tibis after a heavy fall during the Tour of Belgium.

AFP - Australian sprint star Robbie McEwen will be out for only one month after undergoing surgery on a fractured tibia, giving himself an outside chance of competing in the Tour de France.

The 36-year-old Katusha rider underwent surgery on Thursday after suffering a heavy fall on the second stage of the Tour of Belgium in Knokke-Heist.

"I had an accident today in tour of Belgium, broke my tibia," McEwen said on his twitter social networking website late Thursday. "Operation, two screws in it. Luckily the tendon is ok. Hit a barrier.

"Thanks everyone for your support. I promise you this, I will be back."

This latest accident came weeks after the Aussie was left with concussion after a tumble in the Grand Prix de l'Escaut, also in Belgium.

That put paid to his plan to compete in the Tour of Italy, forcing him to concentrate instead on this race as preparation for the Tour de France, which runs from July 4-29.

Katusha team doctors said that in the absence of damage to the tendon and ligaments, the Australian could be back in the saddle in four weeks if there are no complications during his convalescence.

Whether that leaves McEwen, three-time green jersey winner for best sprinter on the Tour de France, enough time to prepare for this year's gruelling edition is a moot point.

Date created : 2009-05-29