British cycling star Bradley Wiggins last night thanked fans for their support and apologised for a one-fingered gesture directed at the media in the wake of his hospital stay following a nasty crash.
The 32-year-old stayed overnight at the Royal Preston Hospital after being knocked off his bike in a collision with a Vauxhall Astra van in Wrightington, Lancashire, on Wednesday.
Team Sky confirmed the Tour de France champion had suffered a fractured rib, bruised lung and dislocated finger as well as bruising.
The Olympic time trial gold medallist issued an apology after being photographed raising the middle finger on his left hand as he returned to his family home in Eccleston on Thursday.
Wiggins said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and messages over the last 48 hours, and of course all the staff at the Royal Preston Hospital who looked after me so well.
“Although I’m still a little bit sore, I will now be spending time at home with my family and concentrating on making a full recovery.”
He added: “I would also like to apologise for the gesture that I made when I arrived home yesterday afternoon.
“I was tired, in a lot of pain and just wanted to get inside, but I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I’m sorry for that.”
Lancashire Police said the 44-year-old female driver of the van that hit Wiggins had been reported for summons for driving without due care and attention.
Meanwhile, Team Sky said head coach Shane Sutton was making steady progress after being seriously injured in a separate crash.
Sutton suffered a fractured cheekbone and bleeding on the brain, but he is expected to make a full recovery.