Philippe Gilbert leaves the hospital
The Belgian hopes to return to racing before the end of the season.
Twenty-four hours after battling a knee injury on his way to finishing stage 16 of the Tour de France despite crashing on the descent of Col de Portet-d'Aspet, Philippe Gilbert returned to Belgium, at the Herentals Hospital, together with the doctor of Quick-Step Floors, for a series of further examinations on his left leg.
The tests underwent by the 36-year-old – whose exploits in the Pyrenees were rewarded with the most combative rider prize – confirmed the initial diagnosis, which requires four weeks off the bike and a conservative therapy due to the good position of the patella fracture he sustained.
Since Tuesday afternoon, Philippe was flooded with messages on social media from fans from all over the world and was overwhelmed by these and the best wishes he received, which helped him overcome the tough moment he faces.
"I want to say a big thank to everybody, it's truly unbelievable how many fantastic supporters I have. You know, when you are winning and are riding on a high wave, you sometimes don't realize how important your fans are, but I got to see that after this scary moment, having received heartwarming messages from Europe, Japan or the United States, and for that I am extremely grateful. These motivate me to fight and hopefully come back before the end of the season", said Philippe, who on Friday left the hospital and returned home.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images