Austrian Bernie Eisel, Dimension Data rider and Mark Cavendish‘s long-time lead-out man, is recovering after successful brain surgery on Monday in Austria.
Doctors rushed the 37-year-old cyclist into surgery following symptoms of a severe headache and an MRI scan. They had spotted a blood pressure increase in his brain.
“If you have an operation on your brain it certainly makes you think twice about things but at the moment I will just follow the recommendations of our team doctors,” Eisel said.
“At the moment, I am feeling good and looking forward to leaving the hospital and spending some time with family.”
The issue began with a nasty crash in Tirreno-Adriatico stage five this March 11, when Eisel injured his wrist and nose, and suffered facial lacerations. An initial CAT scan of his brain showed no bleeding.
Eisel had not raced since. The team said he thought he was suffering from severe allergies last week and was struggling to train. He had symptoms including a severe headache, so an urgent MRI scan of the brain was ordered and it showed the haematoma.
“A chronic subdural haematoma is an accumulation of blood beneath the protective layer around the brain, the dura mater,” read a statement.
“The bleeding occurs slowly over a number of weeks and eventually the collection of clotted blood puts pressure on the brain, thereby causing symptoms.”
Team Dimension Data explained everything went successfully and that Eisel could begin light training in two weeks, on the road outdoors in four weeks after another MRI check.
“I can’t really say when I will be back on my bike,” Eisel added.
“Firstly, I want to get healthy, take my time and if the doctors give me the go ahead I will consider when is best to return on my bike. I still enjoy riding my bike but this was a massive thing that happened to my body.”
Eisel has been riding alongside Cavendish and helping him to his sprint wins since 2007, in teams Highroad, Sky and now Dimension Data.
No date is set for a racing return, but it is unlikely he will compete in the Tour de France this July.