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Chris Froome: ‘Trying to Walk Was By Far the Hardest Part of the Rehab’

By Monica Buck

Speaking for The Times, the four-time Tour de France winner opened up about the hardship of his comeback.

Chris Froome suffered six different fractures at last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. He had a first surgery immediately after the horror crash. Later, in a second operation, the metal plate put in his hip was removed, and then he had to have another surgery after cutting the tendons in his thumb with a kitchen knife. A fourth and last surgery was needed in December 2019 after the champion’s hip had got infected. Froome’s early departure from a training camp left his fans with a lot of questions.

However, he is now back in the peloton, competing at the UAE Tour. Still a long way from an ideal form, Froome admits he went through a lot of hardship.

“Trying to walk was by far the hardest part of the rehab. It’s just something you don’t think about until you’re in that position. After the weeks of being bedridden and in a wheelchair afterwards, walking felt so foreign. Mentally, it was tough. Being barely able to walk. There’s still a limp there but that will go with time. It’s a lot better than it was a few weeks ago.”

Froome now has a big scar on his hip where the metal plate was, two screws in his knee, two screws in his upper thigh and a rod through his femur. A lot to remind him of the horror moment at the Critérium. As you would probably guess, however, he doesn’t care all that much.

“There’s no fear, or fear of the speed, thankfully. There were no issues getting stuck in. I spend a lot of time training with the team, or other riders, down in the south of France, so being on the wheels wasn’t any different.”

Do you think he can get back in form in time for the Tour?