Sir Bradley Wiggins is expected to pull out of the 2013 Tour de France, following a knee injury suffered during the Giro d'Italia in mid-May. Wiggins crashed during Stage Seven of the road race, while cycling to Pescara.

Sir Bradley Wiggins [Team Sky]

The 32-year-old Olympic gold medallist later pulled out of the premiere Italian road race, after complaining of a "chest infection and a bog-standard head cold".

At the time, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said the 2012 Tour de France champion would return home for treatment and rest, with the aim of ensuring he was fit and ready to defend his Yellow jersey.

However, according to the Guardian, while the chest infection has subsided, Wiggins' bruised knee means the British cyclist has yet to return to intensive training.

"With these setbacks I can confirm that Brad cannot currently train properly and we are monitoring this situation carefully," Brailsford explained, adding that Wiggins had been dropped from the Team Sky squad for Sunday's Dauphiné Libéré stage race.

Chris Froome v Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins' retirement from the 2013 Tour de France, if confirmed, will likely mean team mate Chris Froome takes over the team lead position for that particular race. The 28-year-old has had an impressive season so far, winning races in Oman, the Romandie region of Switzerland and the Critérium International in France.

The leader's position has seen the relationship between Wiggins and Froome head south, following last year's Tour de France. It is understood the former will not look kindly to having to play a supporting role for Froome and the Kenyan-born cyclist is likely to feel the same. Team Sky's Richie Porte, according to the Mail, will travel as support for Froome's Tour de France bid.

Sunday's start to the Dauphiné Libéré will see cyclists cover a total of 1,117km, starting from hills in Switzerland and ending in Sisteron in France.