Mark Cavendish is back on his bike but unable to make a comeback prediction
Last Updated: 21/07/14 5:42pm
Mark Cavendish injured his shoulder in a crash on stage one of the Tour de France in Harrogate
Mark Cavendish says his recovery from a shoulder injury is progressing better than expected, but has refused to put a date on his comeback.
The 29-year-old Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider crashed on the opening stage of the Tour de France and was forced to abandon the race the following morning.
The injury also ended his hopes of racing at the Commonwealth Games, but he has since undergone surgery and climbed back on to the saddle for the first time on Sunday in Carcassonne in France.
"I did my first ride on the road yesterday," Cavendish said. "I wasn't pain-free, but I was OK. I'm just a bit weak on my right arm. My surgeon, Len Fong, has done an incredible job and I have been working with my physio, Phil Jones, on the Isle of Man.
"I have been in the hyperbaric [oxygen therapy] chamber in the Isle of Man, which seems to have speeded up my recovery more than I thought, so I think I can start to train, but the problem is if I crash, it would damage the shoulder.
"I had a grade-four ligament tear, which was worse than we expected in the first few days, but I have had great people around me with my rehab and we will be talking with the team in the next few days to see what my programme is."
Asked whether he could be fit for September's world championships in Spain, Cavendish added: "I don't know how long I'm going to be before I start racing.
“I just got back on the road on my bike yesterday. Obviously I can't be competing seriously until I can be guaranteed there is no more shoulder damage.
"I'm in a great situation with the support I have had from my team and I have to finish the season strong to honour my team and honour the faith they have had in me. I want to do that properly, I don't want to be just riding around, and worse, I don't want to crash and damage my shoulder even further."