Diver Despatie injured in practice

Diver Alexandre Despatie suffered a severe cut to his head after hitting the springboard during a...

Diver Alexandre Despatie suffered a severe cut to his head after hitting the springboard during a practice in Spain. (Patrick Bernath/Courtesy Canadian Olympic Committee)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:22 PM ET

Diver Alexandre Despatie suffered a 10-cm cut on his head Wednesday during a training session in Spain.

The Canadian is expected to be healthy enough to compete in the London Olympics.

"Alexandre hit his forehead on the board while doing a spiral," spokesperson Chantal Benoit said. "He cut the top of his forehead."

Despatie, 27, apparently lost consciousness for a few seconds and was taken to a hospital.

"Because of the type of lacerations, Alexandre needed a small operation to ensure proper healing," Benoit said. "The surgery went well and Alexandre is recovering in hospital. He should be released in a day or two."

In messages to his Twitter followers, Despatie said he appreciated the good wishes from fans.

"Thank you everyone for the support," he wrote. "The operation went well and I will update you soon."

With about six weeks to go before the Olympics, the injury comes at an unfortunate time. He is expected to miss two weeks of training.

"Alexandre did not suffer any memory loss and shows no other significant symptoms," Benoit said. "All of the necessary tests were done to ensure that there wasn't a significant head injury."

In an interview with QMI Agency, Despatie's mother, Christine, said they were able to close the wound during surgery.

"There doesn't seem to be any internal injury," she said.

"The Olympics (training) hasn't been easy for him, but we aren't losing hope. Knowing him, I don't think he will give up.

Despatie, who will compete in his fourth and final Olympics, has had to battle several injuries during his career. During the past year, he has had to deal with tendinitis in his left knee. In 2008, Despatie suffered a broken right foot only a few months from the Games in Beijing, which didn't stop him from winning a silver medal in the three-metre individual competition.

The Canadian Olympic Committee has also sent its best wishes for the diver's speedy recovery.

"We wish Alex a full and quick recovery," said Mark Tewksbury, Canada's chef de mission at the Olympics. "He is a dedicated, determined athlete and is ready to face any challenges he comes across and I know he can come back from this injury."

Diving Canada's chief technical officer, Mitch Geller, said Despatie has faced adversity before.

"Knowing him, I think he'll be back in fine form," Geller said.

Once recovered, Despatie will have to regain his confidence. Despite the accident, Despatie's spirits are high, Geller said.


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