After the bicycle crash at 70.3 Campeche in Mexico on March 19, Michael underwent shoulder surgery, performed by Dr. Dave Weinstein in Colorado Springs, CO. The injury, diagnosed as a lateral collarbone fracture and an acromion-clavicular joint grade 5 separation, required a unique hook-plate which was built into his left shoulder.
Initially, it was questionable if Michi would be able to swim with this type of "hardware”, as range of motion of the shoulder joint was quite decreased due to the metal plate. Thankfully, with an outstanding team of doctors and therapists, Michi was able to do more than ever expected! He completed the 2017 triathlon race season with a number of strong performances and race successes. Iron-will combined with hard and consistent training brought his 4th Ironman victory in The Netherlands at Ironman Maastricht. And as a stellar season wrap-up he set a new Ironman PR of 7:53h, finishing 2nd at Ironman Cozumel behind World Champion Sebastian Kienle (GER).
Michael had the plate surgically removed this week, again with Dr. Weinstein at the "Surgical Center of the Rockies.” The timing was ideal, just after his last race of the year and at the start of the holiday off-season. The shoulder is now stabilized with an arm-sling, but in just a few days he will be spinning with easy rides on the SRM Indoor Trainer. He's expected to be running in another week or so, but activities with a high risk of falling (cycling outdoors, trail running, nordic skiing, snowboarding, etc) will be avoided until February.