(Reuters) – Team Sky’s Ben Swift is recovering in intensive care after suffering a ruptured spleen when he crashed during a training ride with team mate Geraint Thomas in Tenerife.
The 31-year-old Swift, who returned to Sky for the 2019 season after a two-year stint with UAE Team Emirates, clipped a rock while descending, causing him to fall heavily on Wednesday.
Team Sky said in a statement on Thursday that he had “sustained multiple contusions following the crash and while scans have shown no evidence of any fractures, there is evidence of multiple areas of bruising on the scan.
“There has been an injury to the spleen that caused bleeding, but this bleeding has now stopped.
“A procedure was performed on Wednesday afternoon to reduce the risks of this bleeding starting again. Swift will remain in close observation for the next few days.”
Swift, who came fifth in the UCI Road World Championships in 2017, wrote on Twitter: “I am still in intensive care at the moment. But hopefully move onto a normal ward tomorrow.
“They have stopped the bleed in the spleen. But just need to keep monitoring it. Along with that I have facial wounds and road rash.”
Team Sky Doctor Inigo Sarriegui, told TeamSky.com “Swifty suffered quite a heavy crash whilst out training.
“Thankfully though, he didn’t lose consciousness and was aware of the incident afterwards.
“We will continue to monitor him over the coming days, but 24 hours on from the crash he is already feeling better.”
Swift joined Team Sky when it was formed in 2010 but left in 2017 in search of more leadership opportunities.
He spent two frustrating seasons marred by injury with Team Emirates, but said he was looking forward to working with a new generation of riders on his return to Team Sky.
In his last spell with Sky, Swift’s best results included two podium finishes at Milan–San Remo in 2014 and 2016 plus a sensational stage win on the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)