Usain Bolt pulled out of his two scheduled July meets, citing a left leg injury that required him to fly to Munich for treatment.
Bolt “has been feeling discomfort in his left leg since his last competition which has restricted his training,” according to a press release. “He visited Doctor Müller-Wohlfahrt in Munich who confirmed that he has a blocked sacroiliac joint which is restricting his movement and putting pressure on his knee and ankle. Usain will spend the next couple of days in Munich getting treatment after which he will resume full training in his quest to defend his titles at the IAAF World T&F Championships in Beijing at the end of August.”
Bolt withdrew from Diamond League meets in Paris on Saturday and Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 9. Those were his only remaining announced competitions before the World Championships in Beijing from Aug. 22-30.
Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills, said Bolt has been complaining “for several weeks” and restricted in training, triggering the trip to the German doctor, according to Reuters.
“What I can say is I’m very concerned about the progress of his preparation [for the World Championships] so far,” Mills said, according to Reuters. “But as to between now and Beijing that depends on what I learn when I have the discussion with the doctor.”
Bolt, 28 and a six-time Olympic champion, reportedly visited Munich for two weeks for treatment last year, when he had March foot surgery that delayed the start of his 2014 season.
Bolt pulled out of last week’s Jamaican Championships after Mills said he would race, but he didn’t need to compete as he had byes into the World Championships as the 2013 World champion in the 100m and 200m.
Bolt last raced at the Adidas Grand Prix on June 13, clocking 20.29 in a 200m, his slowest 200m final time since 2006.
Bolt is increasingly looking like an underdog to American Justin Gatlin in the 100m and 200m at the World Championships. Gatlin is the world’s fastest man in the 100m and 200m this year and was last year.
Gatlin, 33 and five years removed from a four-year doping ban, has run personal bests 9.74 and 19.57 in the 100m and 200m this year. Bolt’s best times since the start of 2014 are 9.98 and 20.13.
In Paris, Bolt was lined up to face former world-record holder and countryman Asafa Powell in a 100m. Powell, 32, is the only Jamaican to run 9.90 or faster in 2014 or 2015, which he has done four times.
Powell last beat Bolt on July 22, 2008, in Bolt’s last race before the Beijing Olympics, when he won the first three of his six Olympic golds.