I am currently recovering from a hip anthroscopy I had three weeks ago. Unfortunately the operation was not as successful as hoped. The surgeon has given me a three-phase physio plan (which includes cycling) with three months to recover from this operation, after which he intends to conduct a Birmingham hip resurfacing.

Prior to this first op, he advised me to cycle as much as possible (at least one hour twice a week), to keep the joint moving, and build up fitness and muscle to help mask the hip injury, improving recovery. Over a period of six months I have built up to 80- to 90-mile rides.

I now want to plan my fitness and recovery by setting targets for 2008, and I?d really like to do the Etape du Tour. I know this will be a challenge, but I feel it would give me a great buzz and faith in my new hip.

Is this a realistic target for my recovery? I will need to commit early in terms of booking, payment etc and can?t afford to book a place and not go.

Martin Brown, email

A difficult question to answer. Your surgeon would be in the best position to decide whether you would be ready or not for the Etape. My gut instinct from a physio?s perspective is that it would come slightly too soon.

Such an operation could have complications which would set back recovery time considerably. However, it sounds like you have achieved a good level of fitness pre-op that will stand you in good stead as far as speed of recovery goes.

You will be able to make much better predictions a couple of months after surgery, but there are too many variables between now and then. While this doesn?t help as far as booking goes, in the meantime arrange another appointment with your surgeon to discuss things further.

Richard Spink

Physiotherapist. Runs a busy sports injury clinic in Bristol. www.grangephysio.com