updated 03/24/2009 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/24/2009 AT 11:30 AM ET
Broken collarbone or no, Lance Armstrong will compete in the coming Tour de France, his longtime coach said Tuesday.
“This doesn’t change anything for the Tour de France,” ASTANA team manager Johan Bruyneel told reporters in Palencia, Spain.
He added that Armstrong’s broken collarbone might not even prevent him from returning to ride the Giro d’Italia, which begins May 9.
Armstrong, meanwhile, flew to the U.S. to see his doctors after spending Monday night at Bruyneel’s home. He used Twitter to send his fans messages.
“Hard to tweet left-handed,” he joked.
“Thanks to everyone here in Spain for all the help and support,” he added about an hour later.
Armstrong’s broken collarbone, which Bruyneel described as “a clean fracture without complications,” happened after the cyclist was involved in a pile-up during the first stage of the Castille y Leon race on Monday. Bruyneel said the injury wasn’t serious enough to prevent Armstrong from being in shape to contest either the Italian race or the Tour de France, which begins July 4.
Winning in July would give the Texan, 37, his eighth Tour de France title.