Chris Froome is facing another six weeks in hospital after scans revealed the British cyclist had also suffered fractures to his neck and sternum in the horror training crash that rules him out of this year's Tour de France.
Froome hit a wall at 35mph during a training ride in France on Wednesday after losing control of his bike following a descent.
Initial statements from Team Ineos confirmed he had suffered a fractured femur, fractured ribs and a broken elbow.
The accident was so shocking, with Froome hitting the side of a house, that his great rival Dan Martin feared he had been killed.
Late on Wednesday night the 34-year-old four-time Tour de France winner had six hours of surgery but tests on Friday revealed further complication. He will be kept in intensive care at least until after this weekend.
Doctors in France have now identified a small fracture in his neck as well as his sternum, with his family now being told he will not be allowed to leave hospital until the end of next month at the earliest to let the fractures heal.
As Team Ineos boss Sir Dave Brailsford said on Thursday, Froome went from 35mph to zero in the impact, which is why bruising to his lungs — caused by the fractures to his ribs — was also a worry.
Chief surgeon Remi Philippot said: 'He started asking immediately when he could get back on his bike. He should be back racing in about six months.'
Meanwhile, footage has emerged from just before the crash in which a team-mate is heard telling Froome, 'You don't have to take risks' as he took both hands off his handlebars to put on a jacket.
Froome then took his hands off to blow his nose when wind caught his front wheel, causing the crash.
He was subsequently airlifted across to St Etienne Hospital.
British former Olympic cycling champion Dani Rowe, who suffered a training accident in 2014 which left her with broken ribs and a collapsed lung, said returning from such a serious injury is a challenge for the mind as well as the body.
'It is really hard to come back from this kind of accident, I think mentally more than physically,' she revealed.