Nairobi — David Rudisha's journey towards a historic third 800m Olympic crown suffered a speed bump after undergoing ankle surgery, a new development that will keep him out of action for at least three months.
The world record holder twisted his ankle after stepping on uneven ground at his rural home in Trans Mara, Narok County and he initially thought it was just a minor sprain and continued with his training.
"During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury. He continued with exercises that wouldn't cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St. Luke's hospital in Eldoret," a statement from his manager Michael Boeting said.
Rudisha had stepped up his training as he looked to vie for a place in Kenya's team for the Tokyo Olympics which have now been postponed to next year, but the latest injury will surely slow down that journey.
The surgery was conducted by Athletics Kenya accredited team doctor and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Victor Bargoria who said Rudisha suffered a fracture on his left ankle which he has had to fixate a plate on.
With the recovery set between 12-16 weeks, it means Rudisha will be out until at least mid-September before he begins rehabilitation. For a return to full training, that might go all the way to December or January.
With the Olympics scheduled for July, Rudisha will literally have to race against time to be fit in time for the Team Kenya Trials and having not competed since 2017, this might prove to be a mountainous ask, even for a strong-willed athlete of Rudisha's calibre.
Speaking to Capital Sports earlier in the year, Rudisha had not hidden his desire to return to the quadrennial games and sign out in style with gold number three.
"I am expecting to return next season and I am preparing for that. My main target is the Olympics. For me, health comes first and all this time I have been monitoring and taking care of my injury. Now it is almost out of the way now planning on a comeback until beginning of next season," Rudisha said in a previous interview with Capital Sports.
Also, he admitted to have gained a few excess pounds of weight and was working to get leaner and work on his speedwork on the track before launching his comeback in the Diamond League.