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Doctors hail James Cracknell's "exceptional" recovery

Former Olympic rower walking round hospital unaided two weeks after horror crash

Former Olympic rower James Cracknell has astonished doctors in the United States with the speed his recovery from injuries received when he was hit from behind by a truck in Arizona a fortnight ago.

Last week, we reported that Cracknell’s wife Beverley Turner had revealed that it could be six months before her husband recovered from his injuries, including brain damage, sustained in the accident on 20 July near Winslow, Arizona as he filmed a documentary charting his attempt to travel from coast to coast by cycling, rowing, running and swimming.

The Daily Telegraph, for which both Turner and Cracknell are columnists, says that he is now walking around the hospital unaided, in contrast to last week when he was not able to sit up in bed or open his eyes. Cracknell is reportedly still confused, agitated and suffering from anmnesia, reports the newspaper, but it adds that doctors at the Rehabilitation Institute at the Phoenix Hospital, where he was previously in the Neuro-trauma recovery ward, have described his recuperation as “exceptional.”

Turner told The Daily Telegraph: “James has amazed the doctors with his physical progress. Since starting to walk with minimal assistance three days ago, he now spends hour after hour doing slow laps of the ward.”

She continued: "The nurses are charmed by his English manners but confess to never having seen a patient cover so many miles in one corridor.”

However, Turner acknowledged that her husband was still in the early stages of recovery, saying: “Despite the huge steps forward, my husband still has some way to go until he is back to his old self, but if anyone has the focus and drive to meet the challenges ahead, it is James.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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