Zanardi transferred to Padua hospital 5 months after crash

Alex Zanardi makes his way back to his garage after driving during a practice session for the IMSA 24 hour race at Daytona International Speedway, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)

MILAN — Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi was transferred to a hospital in Padua on Saturday to continue his recovery, more than five months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi underwent several surgeries at hospitals in Siena and later in Milan to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

"The patient has reached a generally stable physical and neurological condition that permitted his transfer to another hospital equipped with all the necessary clinical specialties and closer to the family home,'' the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement.

The 54-year-old Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

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