Ulster road racer Ryan Farquhar has been readmitted to the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, a spokesman for the Belfast Trust has confirmed.
Farquhar, from Dungannon, was injured in the Supertwins race in the North West 200 on May 12 and was airlifted to the RVH in Belfast by a PSNI helicopter.
The 40-year-old rider, who resumed road racing in 2014 after retiring in 2012, had initially been hospitalised with an injury to his liver and internal bleeding, according to reports. However, he had been moved out of the intensive care unit.
But yesterday a spokesman for Belfast Trust said: “He has returned to ICU and he is seriously ill.”
News Letter motorcycling correspondent Kyle White said: “This has come as quite a shock given that Ryan was pictured with his wife Karen in hospital last week giving the thumbs up and was interviewed about the crash.”
He noted that Farquhar remembered everything about his accident and passed his condolences on to the family of Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.
English rider Mitchell-Thomas was killed in a crash at the same spot on Saturday, 14 May.
Kyle said Farquar’s relapse is a setback.
He added: “We are hoping it is only temporary and that we will hear better good news tomorrow.
“He suffered chest and pelvic injuries but the main concern was the injury to his liver.”
However after initial treatment, the feedback was that the organ was responding well to medical care, he said.
“At this particular time our thoughts are with his wife Karen and daughters Keeley and Mya and their family and friends.”
Farquhar has won five races at the North West 200. He retired in 2012 following the death of his uncle Trevor Ferguson at that year’s Manx Grand Prix, however he returned in 2014.