Greg Henderson cleared for Glasgow Games

NASTY INJURY: Kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson is expected to be fit in time for the Commonwealth Games despite crashing out of the Tour de France.
NASTY INJURY: Kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson is expected to be fit in time for the Commonwealth Games despite crashing out of the Tour de France.

Greg Henderson has been told by his team doctor he'll be right for the Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand's most experienced rider crashed out of the Tour de France on Wednesday, after sustaining a 12cm long cut on his knee and his participation in the road race in Glasgow on August 1 was in serious doubt.

However, Henderson saw the doctor who performed the operation on his knee again overnight and the Dunedin-born cyclist says the news was good.

"He came to see me at 2pm today, he unravelled it, peeled it off, shook my hand and said it's perfect," Henderson told Fairfax Media.

"He was obviously really worried that because the skin had separated from the knee cap there would be a lot of fluid and drainage problems. But there was no swelling and he said it was awesome.

"He put in one more stitch, send me on my way home and said I can start riding at the end of next week."

The final decision on whether he'll compete in Glasgow as part of the six-man New Zealand team in the road race will rest with Bike NZ, but Henderson says he's informed them he'll be back riding again in time to prepare for the Games.

"I feel really good about it," he said. 

"I've wrote an email to the powers that be at Bike NZ and made myself available for the Commonwealth Games and the decision lies with them now really, whether they want to take me or not.

"I've flown home and just landed now in Barcelona, so I'll get to see the family. 

"I'm in a splint for two more days, then I start movement and then I start riding. 

"He [the doctor] wants the wound, the actual split I did in the race, to heal perfectly and then he wants the tissue that's removed from the bone underneath, to start to knit together again and then to start riding."

This morning's sixth stage of the Tour de France was won by Henderson's Lotto-Belisol team-mate, Andre Greipel.

Henderson's usual job in the Tour is to be Greipel's lead out man in the sprints and the German dedicated this victory to Henderson.

While Henderson is understandably gutted to be out of the Tour de France, he says he'll avidly watch the rest of it and was delighted with Greipel's win.

"Of course I was initially upset and everything like that, but I've got a team there," he said.

"Andre won today and dedicated it to me, it was a beautiful victory and he wrote me a nice message.

"We feel like a family when we train this hard towards a common goal. For bad luck to take you out, you don't feel bitter towards the Tour, or disappointed in yourself. 

"Maybe if I wasn't good enough, couldn't follow up a climb and got time cut, then I'd feel bitter and disappointed in myself, but this is one of those things where it was totally out of my control and I feel sorry to the guys that I can't be there and I still want them to do as well as I can."