There is concern among doctors treating the Columbian rider Juan Mauricio Soler who suffered serious head injuries in a crash at the Tour of Switzerland, that his brain has been damaged to a greater extent than initially feared.
The 2007 Tour de France King of the Mountains was placed in a medically induced coma at a hospital in St Gallen following the crash on June 16 when, in addition to a fractured skull and cerebral edema, he sustained a broken ankle and lung injuries.
Although the Movistar rider’s life is not in danger, having slowly brought him out of the coma, in recent days doctors have been able to assess the extent of his brain injuries and have now described “serious cognitive deficits” in his condition.
While the 28-year-old is able to move all four limbs and respond to simple instructions he is so far unable to speak, cannot easily swallow and, say doctors, will need intensive neurological rehabilitation.
More positively, the Columbian is in a sufficiently stable condition to be shortly transferred to a hospital in Pamplona where the Movistar team is based.