David Rudisha‘s coach shed some light on the Olympic and world champion’s knee injury Wednesday.
Rudisha, the world-record holder in the 800 meters, may not be healthy enough to defend his world title in Moscow next month, Colin O’Connell told Reuters.
“He is progressing on well, but I doubt if he will heal early enough to resume training for the world championships,” O’Connell said.
The coach said a more detailed report of Rudisha’s injury will be given next week and then they’ll talk to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Kenya. Rudisha doesn’t have to go through a national trials (Kenya’s is this weekend) or selection process as the defending world champion.
“His wild card is an advantage, but we are praying that he responds well to treatment,” O’Connell told Reuters.
Rudisha, 24, injured his knee running in Central Park in New York.
A photo surfaced of Rudisha with crutches earlier this week and a caption saying he was recovering from knee surgery. That sounded alarm bells, but Rudisha’s agent told LetsRun.com he did not have surgery.
“He has a bone bruise on the under side of his right knee,” James Templeton told the website. “He was on crutches for a period to give it the best possible chance to heal.”
If Rudisha were to miss worlds, it would open the door wider for a U.S. medalist in the 800 for the first time at a major international meet since 1997 worlds. U.S. champion and runner-up Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 2012 Olympics.
Solomon’s win at nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 23 marked the fastest time in the world this year — 1 minute, 43.27 seconds. Rudisha’s world record set at the 2012 Olympics is 1:40.91.