London - British sprint ace Mark Cavendish will need surgery on his injured shoulder and faces six weeks on the sidelines, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step (OPQS) team have said on Monday.
The 29-year-old crashed badly at the end of the first stage of the Tour de France in Yorkshire, northern England, on Saturday.
Although he got up and managed to finish the stage, he went to hospital afterwards and discovered he had a separated shoulder, meaning the ligaments that hold his collarbone to his shoulder had torn.
He pulled out of the race before Sunday's second stage.
The OPQS team statement said: "Cavendish underwent further examinations after his crash during the first stage of the Tour de France last Saturday.
"The results underlined the need for surgery after it was confirmed that all ligaments around the AC-joint were ruptured and the shoulder separated.
"The surgery to stabilise the AC joint will take place on Wednesday 9th of July.
"The recovery time after the surgery will be around six weeks."
Cavendish had initially hoped he'd only suffered bruising and swelling but it turned out to be worse than he imagined.
"It's worse than I was hoping but immediately after the crash I knew something was really wrong," Cavendish said.
"It is really painful, but at the moment all I can do is focus 100 percent of my effort on my recovery to be able to get back racing for Omega Pharma-Quick-Step as quickly as possible."
Cavendish had been one of the big favourites for victory on the opening stage of the Tour, which finished in his mother's home town Harrogate.
The 2011 world champion has won 25 Tour stages.