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Nhlapo coming good

Mark Etheridge

Champion BMX rider Sifiso Nhlapo is on the mend – and quickly too.

After his horror crash on Monday and an intricate operation on his neck, the South African Beijing Olympic finalist was already up and walking Thursday.

Nhlapo crashed while training in Norway and broke two verterbrae.

A statement from the medical team that operated on Skizo said: ÔÇ£We had to cut an opening about two and half fingers wide in his throat to put a spacer between one of the vertebrae. We also had to put in a titanium plate with two screws and had to remove some ligaments that broke. The work was done around the C3 & C4 vertebrae. In six weeks time we will have to see on his improvement and make a decision on a second operation.ÔÇØ

Sifiso said in an email: “I’m still pretty drugged up and I feeling like falling asleep every five minutes but am looking forward to the recovery process. It’s all for a reason but some times it just makes us appreciate the talent you have and know that it can be all over in a split second, but I will be back.ÔÇØ

Nhlapo’s mother Thoko managed to travel to Norway from Johannesburg after the accident and manager Mark Squire says his improvement has been 200% since her arrival.

“He couldn’t believe it when she walked through the door. The swelling has gone down in his throat and he has been speaking today and is in very high spirits. Our champ is a lot more mobile and can walk slowly to go to the toilet and shower, he just needs someone close by in case he falls over.

Skizo also told Squires, ÔÇ£Last year we had a record year at Worlds with the amount of World Numbers South Africa brought home. Without me being there this year I hope the guys that got World numbers will go one better on them this year, and with me sitting out we need some of the other guys to help with extra World numbers so the tally doesn’t drop. Thanks again to everyone for their support and we will see you at home soon.”