Cycling - Boonen to leave hosptial after surgery

Tom Boonen's operation for a septic infection in his elbow was a success and the rider will leave hospital on Thursday.

Boonen, who became the first cyclist ever to win the Flemish cobblestone quadruple of E3 Harelbeke, Gent–Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix in the same year in 2012, fell whilst training on his mountain bike on January 13 and bacteria penetrated through a small cut.

But following the operation his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team confirmed he was no longer in pain and following a short period of rest he will return to training.

The statement did confirm, however, that he will miss the Tour of Qatar during his recuperation.

"I'm happy the situation now is improving even if I am still weak," Boonen said. "To have news released I can go home is good because it was a difficult moment for me and my family.

"Unfortunately I won't be in Tour of Qatar, one of my favourite races, as I decided with the team that it is too early. I feel sorry for Eddy Merckx and the race organization there. Everybody knows how much I like this race, but I really can't make it. First, I need to recover 100 percent physically and then start training again to see how things go.

"I will look into the best schedule to prepare for the Classics at the end of next week, and then I will decide with the team which will be the best approach."