ROME — Doctors treating Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi say he remains stable after a crash on his handbike but is at risk of unforeseen complications.
In a new medical update Sunday, the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena said the longer Zanardi’s vital signs remain stable, the better off he is. But the update warned that his neurological condition remained grave, and that doctors cannot “exclude the possibility of adverse events.”
Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, has been in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator since he crashed his handbike into a truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza during a relay race Friday.
Doctors say he suffered serious facial and cranial trauma and have warned of possible brain damage.
Zanardi, 53, won two championships in CART in the United States and had two stints in Formula One. He crashed during a CART event in Germany in 2001 when both of his legs were severed in a horrific accident the weekend after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
During his recovery, Zanardi designed his own prosthetics and learned to walk again. He then turned his attention to hand cycling and developed into one of the most accomplished athletes in the world. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.
Defending MotoGP series champion Marc Marquez underwent a second surgery Monday after a titanium plate inserted in his fractured right arm sustained damage. The Repsol Honda Team said in a statement that it’ll be two days before the recovery period is determined.
Marquez was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener. He underwent an initial surgery July 21 in Barcelona, and doctors said there was no nerve damage.
The eight-time champion was cleared to race in the season’s second event Jerez. But Marquez decided to skip the July 26 race after experiencing discomfort while riding the No. 93 bike in a July 25 practice.
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He had planned to race in Sunday’s grand prix at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic in hopes of returning to defend his title. His status for Sunday apparently will be unclear until at least Wednesday.
In a statement Monday, the team said the titanium plate in Marquez’s right arm successfully was replaced after stress accumulation. Marquez will stay in the hospital for two days recovering.
Dr Xavier Mir, who performed the surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, said in the release that “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation.
“The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an overstress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”