Estonian long jump hopeful Ksenija Balta has announced that she will not be participating in the London Summer Olympics as she needs more time to recover from knee injury.
On Monday, Balta, who won the gold medal in the long jump at the European Indoor Championships in 2009, went to Helsinki to undergo tests on her right knee. Doctor Ilkka Tulikoura gave Balta the green light to start training in the gym, while cautioning her to hold off on running drills for the next three months.
"The recovery process has been very long. During the first month following the surgery, I was not even permitted to put any weight on my leg, and for the next three months, I was only allowed to train in a swimming pool. Today, the doctor said that the situation is improving and I also feel better myself," said Balta in a press release sent out by the Estonian Athletic Association.
"Today, I was able to walk without crutches for the first time. Taking the situation into account, the recovery is going as planned and I am glad that I can start moving around again. This week, I will work on increasing my mobility on my own, and starting from next week, I am going to be training in the gym as well as the swimming pool."
"Next week, I will add a number of new drills to my training program. The main focus will be on strengthening the thigh muscle, which is currently weak. I believe that returning to the gym will also be beneficial from the psychological standpoint. If you are used to training hard and all of a sudden cannot use your leg, it leaves you with a very strange feeling, as if the leg did not belong to you. Now, I can go back to feeling like it is my leg, so to say," Balta continued.
"The sad news is that I cannot do running drills for another three months, and by then, the London Olympic Games will be over. I am very disappointed about that, but I am trying to think about the fact that my health is the most important thing and that my Olympic Games are still ahead."