CYCLING – A second broken collarbone in the space of five months has forced Philip Deignan out of Team Sky's line-up for this week's Ruta Del Sol stage race in Spain.
Deignan, who broke his left collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Britain in September, had impressed on his debut with the team at the Tour Down Under in Australia last month, but fell while training in Monaco at the weekend, breaking the opposite collarbone in the incident.
"It's frustrating more than anything else. I was happy with the way things went at the Tour Down Under and I wanted to continue building at the Ruta del Sol," said Deignan. "It could have been a lot worse, so I'm trying to look at it in a positive way."
Deignan was due to line up with the squad tomorrow for the five-day Spanish race but will now recover at home instead.
"The medical team have taken a good look at it and we've decided not to have surgery, so I'm back home in Donegal now getting ready to go again. The collarbone's a lot more mobile than the last time this happened so I'm hoping I'll be back on the bike sooner rather than later."
Deignan was expected to ride the Giro D'Italia, which begins in Belfast on May 9, for Team Sky. Although most collarbone breaks see riders return to action within six weeks, it is unclear if Deignan will be in top condition to tackle the three-week race.
"It's difficult to say at this point exactly how long he'll be out for," said the squad's Irish doctor Alan Farrell.
"This particular fracture is not a bad one though, so we're confident he will be back on the home trainer in the next few weeks."