Rawlinson toe surgery

Jana still toey for Beijing build-up

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Jenny McAsey | January 18, 2008

WORLD champion Jana Rawlinson has had foot surgery and will be out of action for next month’s grand prix meets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Rawlinson experienced pain in the second toe on her right foot late last week and had an operation in Melbourne on Wednesday to remove loose cartilage and clean up the joint.

The toe injury will keep her off the track for at least three weeks, but she believes it won’t affect her long-term preparation or performance at the Beijing Olympics in August.

“The toe wasn’t excruciating, but I had lost so much range of movement because I couldn’t quite get onto my toes and sprint,” Rawlinson said yesterday from her hospital bed.

"Every time I walked I could feel the bit moving in my toe and the doctors said that would not go away, so it was best to have the operation.

"The rest of me is in great shape - I haven’t got hamstring or back problems.

"Everything is great except this foot, so who would think that a tiny little toe that is three centimetres long could possibly stop you from running.

“It is funny in some respects,” she said.

Laughter was not Rawlinson’s initial response on Monday when she got the results of an MRI scan on the toe and was told surgery was the best option.

The world 400m hurdles champion had been desperate to remain injury-free in the lead-up to the Olympics.

“Initially I felt disappointed because my perfect plan was to have no injuries through to the Olympics, but I knew I would get one sometime … so I am lucky it has happened now rather than in three or four months’ time.”

The operation went to plan, with Melbourne-based specialist Mark Blackney able to do keyhole, or arthroscopic, surgery on the toe. That means there was no open wound or stitches, and healing time is reduced.

Rawlinson was resting in hospital yesterday but is returning home to Sydney today to begin intensive rehabilitation in a hyperbaric chamber.

She won’t be able to run for several weeks, but is hoping to be fit enough to compete at the national athletics championships in Brisbane on February 28.

They also double as the Olympic selection trials but Rawlinson, who won the world title last August, is already guaranteed her berth in Beijing.

And the positive side is that she is certain the surgery will have no impact on her chance of winning Olympic gold.

“It is so far away and as long as I rehab this well, I don’t think it will have any impact at all,” Rawlinson said.

“I will have three weeks off running, but can do gym and bike work and hopefully still run (at the) nationals. As long as I am in PB (personal best) shape by the Olympics I am not worried.”

Rawlinson did not run during the summer domestic season last year as she was recovering from the birth of her first child, son Cornelis, in December 2006.

As well, she had a serious foot injury in February 2007 when she tore the plantar fascia. Despite those obstacles, and only four months’ serious training, she won the world title in Japan.

“I love the Australian season and I will really miss not running it, so hopefully I can be right for Brisbane,” she said.

“But realistically I think people prefer us to come out and win medals at the Olympics rather than run domestically.”

[b]Another Olympic hopeful, John Steffensen, was getting on with his training yesterday after the resolution of a dispute with AA selector and 1984 Olympic gold medallist Glynis Nunn-Cearns.

Steffensen was cleared for his alleged verbal attack on Nunn-Cearns, with his lawyers arguing a point of law in relation to AA’s disciplinary policy.

The tribunal panel also believed the case against Steffensen was weak, and took into account that he expressed remorse for the encounter with Nunn-Cearns. [/b]

Athletics loses world champJana Rawlinson for summerArticle from: Font size: Decrease Increase Email article: Email Print article: Print Scott Gullan

January 18, 2008 12:00am
TWO-time world champion Jana Rawlinson has had minor surgery on an injured toe and is likely to miss the Australian season. She is already pre-selected for Beijing.

The setback won’t affect her Beijing Olympics preparation, but it is a major blow for Athletics Australia, which is without a major sponsor and desperate to have all its big names on the track for the domestic grand prix series that starts in Sydney and Melbourne next month.

Rawlinson expects to be back running solidly in four weeks and is an outside chance of competing at the Olympic selection trials in Brisbane starting on February 28.

The two-time world champion – who is already pre-selected for Beijing – hurt the toe midway through last year’s European season and was experiencing pain during her 400m hurdles gold medal triumph in Osaka.

“It is the second toe on my right foot and it is the same injury I’ve had since the world championships,” Rawlinson said.

"It hasn’t been overly bad and was just bothering me a little bit. But then last Friday I went to do a speed session, and right from the word go my foot was sorer than normal.

“Halfway through the session I felt this funny clicking feeling in my foot. I think I must of clicked it back into place because I was then able to run out the rest of the session.”

Later that night Rawlinson could hardly walk and an MRI scan on Monday showed a piece of cartilage had come away from the joint.

“In some ways it is a blessing because we think maybe this is what has been bugging me the whole time,” she said. "It is nothing that is going to have any effect on my Olympics.

"We’re still looking at hopefully making it back for nationals, that is six weeks away. If I start running properly at high impact in four weeks then that gives me two weeks to prepare and I think that is long enough.

“But if there is any doubt, I am not going to risk getting injured again. I will do a hurdles running session beforehand and if I can’t get my stride then I won’t be running.”

Rawlinson’s previous Olympic campaign was ruined by a knee injury.

Three weeks before the Athens Games she was forced to have emergency surgery and made a miraculous recovery to make the 400m hurdles final, where she finished fifth.

“It’s disappointing as I would have preferred an injury-free campaign,” Rawlinson said. “But I’m looking at it positively because at least it is not close to the Olympics, like Athens, and my operation is out of the way for this year.”

Rawlinson said she was in great shape after four months of solid training.

“Last year I had a baby in December. I was back training in January and then at the end of January I had my wisdom teeth taken out,” she said.

"I then spent February and March with my foot in a boot with a plantar fascia tear, so I didn’t really start training until the end of March.

“That means I’ve got two months on last year and I still won the world title in that time.”

There are number of other top Australians struggling with injury problems coming into the Olympic year.

Pole vaulter Steve Hooker has had glandular fever and his training partner Paul Burgess is out for the season after an achilles operation. Sprinter Joshua Ross has an ankle injury and Kym Howe, the No. 1 female pole vaulter, is out with a foot injury.

While 1500m star Sarah Jamieson has chronic hamstring soreness.

The major focus of the grand prix series will be the appearance of the world’s fastest man Asafa Powell and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner in Melbourne on February 21.