SANTA CRUZ, California - During the final round of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Leogang, Austria, Greg Minnaar suffered a knee injury in practice that put him out of the race.
“I was coming to a section in practice and my back wheel slipped off a log," said the reigning World Champ. "I tried to run it out and I didn’t really hit the floor. I was waiting for a gap in riders to go back up to get my bike and when I leaned forward to cross the track my knee flipped backwards. I rode down the side of the track to the pits knowing I had done something pretty bad. I've torn the meniscus and ACL and as far as I know I'll need surgery. I'm in conversations with my doctor in South Africa, who is studying my MRI and we are exploring options for surgery.
Performance enhancement coach, Lawrence van Lingen, explains, "The most likely scenario is that Greg hyper extended (bent backward) his knee with a sideways, and/or twist force, while trying to save a crash. This resulted in a near full rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament and a lengthwise tear in his medial meniscus (knee cartilage). This makes the knee unstable as the anterior cruciate helps stabilise the knee, which is why Greg's knee gave out whilst trying to walk back to the track."
The knee was immediately immobilised and supported after the accident. Greg was taken for MRI scans to confirm the diagnosis. So far Greg has made excellent progress with minimal pain and swelling, however there is still a strong possibility of surgery.
Despite this, Greg and Lawrence are confident he'll be able to make a full recovery and return to racing by the start of the 2014 season.
Greg extends his thanks to Lawrence and all those who have taken care of him since the accident.
Despite the setback, Greg was still able to hold on to his position in the 2013 UCI World Cup series, placing 3rd overall at the end of the season.