Reigning U.S. champion Jason Brown withdrew from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in two weeks, citing a back strain that will keep him off the ice for “some time.”
“Words cannot describe how deeply disappointed I am to be unable to compete at the U.S. Championships and go for another title,” Brown said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I was trying really hard to push through for Nationals, but my back pain flared up again during training. Under my doctors’ orders, I have shut down all training in order to allow my body to heal completely. With rest, treatment and physical therapy, my doctors expect my full recovery. I look forward to competing again as soon as I possibly can.”
Brown, 21, finished third at Skate America in October and then withdrew one week before NHK Trophy in November with a back strain.
Last January, he became the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004, less than a year after finishing ninth at the Sochi Olympics as the youngest U.S. men’s singles skater at a Winter Games since 1976. Brown then placed fourth at the World Championships last March, the best finish by a U.S. men’s skater since Evan Lysacek took gold in 2009.
The top U.S. men entered for Nationals are 2013 U.S. champion Max Aaron, 2015 U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon and Junior Grand Prix Final champion Nathan Chen.
Following Nationals, three U.S. men will be named to compete at the World Championships in Boston in late March/early April.
Brown can petition for a place on the team but has not thought that far ahead, he told media Thursday.
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