LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games to recover from injuries he sustained in a horrific crash at last week's Milan-San Remo race, his team announced on Friday.
Sprint king Cavendish, who was to represent the Isle of Man at the Games, went head first over his bike after hitting a bollard at high speed, breaking a rib and damaging his ankle.
"Although it's ultimately positive news that there's been no serious damage sustained following the crash I am hugely disappointed to have to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games," Cavendish said on the website of Team Dimension Data (africasteam.com).
"I am immensely proud to represent the Isle of Man and was looking forward to a successful Games with the team. However, unfortunately it's just come a little too soon in my recovery.
"I would like to thank Andrew Roche and the whole team for their amazing support and wish them all the very best, and I'll be proudly supporting them from home."
Cavendish, who has 30 individual stage wins on the Tour de France, put no time frame on his return.
"I'll now be working tirelessly on my recovery and will be liaising closely with my team at Dimension Data before announcing a return to racing," he said.
"I will be doing everything I can to get back as quickly as possible."
Cavendish won gold in the scratch race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
The Games begin on the Gold Coast, Australia on April 4.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)