Andy Schleck on slow recovery path

Andy Schleck

ANDY Schleck is hopeful he can salvage some of the season despite still suffering from a slow-healing fracture.

The 2011 Tour de France runner-up crashed out of the Criterium du Dauphine last month fracturing his pelvis.

Schleck has returned from Basel, Switzerland where he underwent further clinical examinations and an MRI scan. His RadioShack-Nissan team doctor Andreas Gösele said the new examinations were necessary as Schleck was still in pain.

"The MRI scan showed clear signs of a good healing, but the fracture is not fully healed yet," Gösele said in a team statement.

"This makes us feel optimistic that with some minor modifications of his bike position, temporary of course, he can now look at being a pro cyclist again and train like his colleagues soon."

The 27-year-old Schleck has not been able to train on the bike but has engaged in "alternative sports" including swimming.

"I went on my bike for the first time three weeks after the crash, but it had to step off almost immediately," Schleck said.

"I have been doing quite a lot of alternative sports, mainly swimming. Basically everything I can do without pain was good. I didn't want to believe that my season had come to full stop in that crash."

RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel has all but ruled-out an Olympic Games berth for the Luxembourger adding his health is the main priority.

"We have looked into a slightly different bike position for Andy now," Bruyneel said. "The handle bar is basically positioned higher, so there's less pressure on the hip. The level of pain involved will determine how much work load he can take but one thing is clear: the healing is priority number one and we'll adapt his schedule to that.

"We're very confident that Andy will return to racing in the course of the current season but it's unclear when and where. The only certainty seems his absence from the Olympics because they really come too early."

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