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Cycling-Bernal says horror crash almost left him paraplegic

Randy Mancini 4 Jan 28
FILE PHOTO: Giro d'Italia
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 - Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera, Italy - May 28, 2021 Ineos Grenadiers rider Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia finishes stage 19 in third place REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

January 29, 2022

(Reuters) – Ineos Grenadiers rider Egan Bernal said he had a 95% chance of becoming a paraplegic following a serious crash during training in Colombia earlier this week that required multiple surgeries.

The former Tour de France winner slammed into a stationary bus on the outskirts of Bogota on Monday, sustaining injuries to his spine, legs and chest. He was rushed to hospital where doctors performed successful neurosurgery.

“Having had a 95% chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most, today I want to thank God, the Sabana University Clinic and to all its specialists for doing the impossible, my family and all of you,” Bernal said on Twitter on Friday.

“I’m still in the ICU awaiting more operations, but trusting God everything will be fine.”

In a statement, the hospital said the 25-year-old Colombian was recovering well but would undergo two more minor surgeries to treat fractures on the right hand and in the mouth.

Bernal’s team mate Brandon Rivera is receiving treatment at the same hospital after injuring his elbow and shoulder in a separate incident while training in the same area on Thursday.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)