Aries Merritt has shown incredible early recovery from his kidney transplant last week and could return to running in six weeks, doctors said, according to The Associated Press.
“The way I’m feeling, I think I’ll be good to go in about four,” Merritt said, laughing, according to the report. “I’m not the typical transplant. I’m an Olympian. It’s working out in my favor for recovery.”
The Olympic 110m hurdles champion and world-record holder has a five-inch scar across his stomach that aches, and he’s pretty much confined to his house, but Merritt was told in a checkup that his wounds resembled somebody who had the surgery six months ago rather than one week, according to the AP.
Merritt’s next four months will be critical for his recovery, according to the Arizona Republic, as he attempts to gear up for the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials in July, when he will hope to finish in the top three to earn the chance to defend his title in Rio.
Merritt, 30, will start off slowly by walking on a treadmill at home, according to the newspaper.
Merritt was told less than two years ago that he may never be able to run again and announced he had kidney disease shortly before the World Championships in August.
He earned bronze in the 110m hurdles in Beijing, with kidney function less than 20 percent and four days before he received a kidney from his sister in Arizona.
MORE TRACK AND FIELD: VIDEO: Suzy Favor Hamilton’s collapse at 2000 Olympics