|Simon in hospital today prior to being discharged|
He'll need to stay pretty inactive and also wear the spinal body brace when not laid out on his bed (I think if the consulant said that he needed to do fifty press ups every morning, Simon would have agreed).
Interestingly, the Consultant, Senior Spinal Surgeon - Paul Rhys Davies - treated Simon in 2001 when he was last seriously injured. Simon tributed his Beijing 2008 performance to the work that Mr Rhys Davies did at the time and Amanda showed him Simons Paralympic medals today. Having the history of Simons previous accident, he was best judged to assess the best route for his future recovery.
Visiting Simon in hospital in Cardiff this morning, I asked him what he felt about his recovery and cycling again specifically. A very clear answer came back. "I intend to get back to my pre-collision fitness and form." That journey may take some time, Simon needs intensive physiotherapy and he needs to re-build his lung capacity, muscle mass and fitness. He's got an excellent track record in recovery as we know, so the journey ahead will be challenging no doubt. One thing I do know if that if anyone can do it, Simon can - particularly with the support of his wife Amanda, who continues to be a rock.
Simon is really looking forward to getting home. He said he was "fed up of looking at a hospital ceiling" and his mindset was that "he's not ill, just injured, so the sooner he was home the better." Interestingly, the physiotherapists have indicated that they expect part of his treatment to be on a static bike (but not with TT bars).
Driving home to Manchester, I couldn't help but admire the mental resilience of both Simon and Amanda. Practicality is the key word. They've both been through it before, so there's less emotion this time round, more about the what, why, when and who. The word I've heard most when describing Simon is "Inspiring," if you mention it to him, he can't understand why. Others that fall to my mind are modest, brave, practical, strong, dedicated and awe-inspiring. A real man amongst men and future ambassador for our sport.