Tom Boonen has been advised to sit out for six months following his crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour, in which he fractured a temporal bone, although the Belgian isn't anticipating being on the sidelines for that long.
The Etixx-Quick Step veteran came down hard on stage two, hitting his head on the tarmac and suffering the injury. As a result, Boonen will have to stay in the UAE for two weeks until the risk of blood clot decreases, allowing him to fly home.
Doctors have said Boone could be out of action for six months, but the Classics specialist believes he will be back on his bike in just one month.
“The doctors speak of six months of doing nothing, for safety. But I believe it is more like a month,” Boonen told Sporza. “That's about the time that a break needs to recover. They are especially afraid of the trauma, but when I'm back in Belgium, I will be examined thoroughly once more.”
Cycling Weekly's guide to road bike tyres
Boonen says his memory of the incident came back quickly after he regained consciousness. According to the Belgian, riders hit a piece of steel in the road which got caught in MTN-Qhubeka rider Theo Bos's wheel, causing the crash.
The blow to the head left Boonen with a 15cm fracture on his scull, which has reportedly left him with hearing issues in his left ear, but he believes it will clear up soon.
In the mean time, Boonen's girlfriend and children may fly out to the UAE to be with him, with the Belgian set to celebrate his 35th birthday on Thursday, although he has a CT scan booked in for the big day.
"It could well be that Lore come here with the kids. We're doing a holiday attached to it," he added.
"And I celebrate here Thursday. It sucks my birthday, but I am realistic enough to realize that a birthday is a day like any other."
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1