Ace BMX racer Sifiso Nhlapo will miss his August ‘home’ leg of the UCI World Cup in Pietermaritzburg after his horror crash in Norway on Monday.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the operation to his injured neck looks to have been a success and doctors are optimistic of a full recovery and he’s expected to at least be in Pietermaritzburg to support the world’s Elite riders.
Nhlapo’s manager, Mark Squires, said there had been overwhelming support for Nhlapo, who made the BMX final at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
“There have been so many emails and sms’s that I stopped counting after 300, and thats just to me so I can’t begin to imagine all the support and the rest of the messages going to Sifiso’s phone…Anders (Gronsund, Nhlapo’s mate and fellow racer) said he has received over 400 sms’s already.”
Nhlapo was intent on trying to win the European Championship Series after having finished second in 2008. Also on his schedule were the 2009 World Championships in Australia next month.
“Skizo is already trying to get Anders to help him out of the bed to see if he can walk and stand, so with that we know his mind is already in recovery mode and he wants to get back on his bike.
“I also just come home from visiting Thoko (Sifiso’s mom) and the family. While I was there Anders got┬áSkizo on the line, he obviously couldnt speak as they cut through the front of his neck to operate but it had a soothing effect┬áon Thoko just to be able to speak to Sifiso and ‘hear’his voice.
More encouraging news for Nhlapo. Squires said that the doctor’s normally predicted a 10-12 week recovery period in a brace for an injury of this kind but with Skizo being in such excellent shape, it wouldnt’ surprise him if it took him six to eight weeks to get out the brace.