Alistair Brownlee's injury lay-off could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for his Olympic gold medal hopes, according to coach Malcolm Brown.
The 24-year-old triathlete is considered one of Britain's best prospects for a home gold in London this summer, so dominant has he been since winning the world title for the first time in 2009.
There were understandably concerns, therefore, when he suffered a tear in his Achilles in February, but he is almost back to full fitness and is set to compete in the World Triathlon Series race in Kitzbuhel next month.
And Brown, who is also Britain's Olympic Performance Manager, believes the enforced break may ensure his protege is fresh and in peak condition for the race in Hyde Park on August 7.
Brown said: "Alistair's fine. He's training well, he's in good shape and I fully expect him to be in Kitzbuhel.
"He might even have benefited from the break. He hasn't had much respite over the past three years and it might have come at the right time."
Brownlee's main competition for gold is expected to come from his younger brother Jonny, who continued his fine start to the year with a commanding win in the WTS race in Madrid.
The 22-year-old ensured a Brownlee topped the podium for a fourth successive year following Alistair's hat-trick of wins in the Spanish capital when he got himself into a nine-man breakaway on the bike and then ran away from his rivals.
It was his second successive victory after he also won in San Diego two weeks ago, and Brown said: "It was an outstanding performance from Jonny.
"He really moved forward from San Diego, where he was a bit rusty having not raced for so long. He benefited from the way the race went. The Brownlees are very keen on a fast swim and a fast bike."