Leipheimer sidelined with broken leg after hit by car

  • FILE - This Aug. 28, 2011 file photo shows American cyclist Levi Leipheimer celebrating after winning the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, in Denver. Leipheimer felt "lucky to be alive" after he was hit by a car while training for a race. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was training by himself Sunday, April 1, 2012, for the Tour of Basque Country when he was struck from behind. The Italian team said in a statement that Leipheimer went to a hospital. He had a sore and swollen lower left leg but no broken bones. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

When Levi Leipheimer was struck by a car in Spain last Sunday, X-rays at a Spanish medical center showed no fractures. The cyclist flew back to California confident that he had nothing more than a badly bruised calf muscle.

That's why elite athletes get second opinions on their injuries.

Leipheimer's team, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, announced Thursday that additional imaging has revealed a broken left fibula, jeopardizing the cyclist's participation in this year's Tour of California, which is set to start May 13 in his adopted hometown of Santa Rosa.

An OPQS press release stated that Leipheimer would observe a two-week period of "absolute rest." But Greg Fisher, editor of Bike Monkey Magazine and a close friend of the cyclist's, said that Leipheimer expects to be back on a bike within a week, with a return to road riding very shortly thereafter. His training will be supervised by Dr. Max Testa, a famed exercise physiologist and a long-time cohort of Leipheimer's.

The athlete remained upbeat despite the news.

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