• Greg van Avermaet at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships. (Getty)Source: Getty
Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet left a hospital in Antwerp after surgery to an ankle injured while mountain biking.
16 Nov 2016 - 12:26 PM  UPDATED 16 Nov 2016 - 12:36 PM

It was an unfortunate close to 2016 for the 31-year-old Belgian who earlier in the year confirmed his career class with wins at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Tirreno-Adriatico, a stage victory and time spent in yellow at the Tour de France, and victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal before his biggest win at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"It was my first training ride after a few weeks off. I went into a corner, maybe a bit too fast and there was water on the ground and I didn't want to go straight into that, so I put my foot down, and this is what caused the fracture,"  van Avermaet said.

"I feel fine. Of course, it's better to not have an injury like this but I cannot change it, and it's better now than in January.

“I now have some extra weeks to recover before getting back on the bike in around four weeks, and then I'll still have a big block of training before the season starts so it should be fine."

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BMC chief medical officer Dr. Max Testa laid out the details of the surgery to patch the left fibula fracture.

“A small plate and a few screws were used to stabilise the fracture and the surgery went very well. Greg stayed overnight in hospital but will be discharged this morning wearing a walking boot," Testa said.

"Greg will start working with the physical therapist right away so we expect that he will be able to pedal on a stationary bike in two weeks time, and gradually increase the training load and start to use his road bike in four to six weeks.

“We will continue to monitor Greg's recovery progress and his condition and training program will be re-evaluated at BMC Racing Team's training camp in December in conjunction with the medical, training and management staff.”

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