Sonny Colbrelli has left hospital after successfully being fitted with a subcutaneous defibrillator (ICD) following an operation on Thursday.
Colbrelli collapsed after finishing second in the uphill sprint on the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya on March 26.
He spent a week at hospital in Girona, before moving to the Padova hospital, which specialises in diagnosing and treating arrhythmogenic heart muscle diseases.
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Colbrelli’s team, Bahrain Victorious, later confirmed that he had suffered an unstable cardiac arrhythmia which required defibrillation.
The initial tests reportedly showed “no signs of concern”, but follow-up examinations proved to be “inconclusive” in determining the underlying cause of the incident.
“In Padova, the athlete underwent comprehensive clinical, genetic and imaging evaluation to identify the cause of the arrhythmia that led to cardiac arrest and the most appropriate therapy,” said Professor Domenico Corrado in quotes published by cyclingnews.com.
“The decision to implant a life-saving device has been shared by Colbrelli who received a subcutaneous ICD. The device works to correct the rhythm of the heart if it’s needed in extreme cases.”
La Gazetta dello Sport has quoted Colbrelli following the incident, with the rider claiming he had little recollection of what happened after collapsing. His return to racing is now in doubt with it being confirmed that Colbrelli suffered an unstable cardiac arrhythmia, meaning a defibrillator had to be used to restart his heart.
"I know I've been lucky but I don't want to end things like this,” he added.
Colbrelli was most recently won the 2021 edition of Paris-Roubaix held in October, which came only a few weeks after achieving success in the European road race championships.
The 31-year-old is set to encounter difficulties should he compete again in Italy, with the country not usually giving permission for athletes to compete with subcutaneous defibrillators.
Bahrain Victorious say Colbrelli will now complete his recovery at home and asked for his privacy to be respected during this difficult time.
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