Gemma Gibbons accepts she will have to be patient when it comes to returning to top form after yet another injury ruled her out of this month’s World Judo Championships in Russia.
The 27-year-old, who broke her thumb on the way to becoming Great Britain’s first Olympic judo medallist in 12 years at London 2012, had only recently returned to action following a series of fitness problems.
They included a fractured wrist and shoulder reconstruction surgery, although that all appeared behind Gibbons as she took silver behind Wales’ Natalie Powell in the -78kg category at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
However an ankle ligament injury picked up during a warm weather training camp in Portugal means another spell on the sidelines, with the British Judo Association predicting a recovery time of between six and eight weeks.
And while her hopes for the World Championships in Chelyabinsk from August 25-31 have now gone up in smoke, Gibbons is trying to look at the bigger picture.
"I knew it was going to take a couple of months for me to get back to full sharpness after my shoulder surgery but felt I was getting there, so this now is very frustrating and bad timing with the World Championships coming up," said Gibbons.
"However, I know that when I am my best I can be one of the best in the world, so I will just have to keep doing the rehab to get back as soon as possible, but most importantly in good shape.
"No athlete gets to the top without their share of injuries, hopefully this will be my last one and I can concentrate coming back strong from it.
"It is tempting to try to come back sooner because you want to get stuck in again on the mat, but you have to think about the long run - my aim is (the Olympics in) 2016, so I need to make sure I get myself fully fit and in a position where I am ready to qualify, then to do a good job when I get there."
Britain will send a four-strong team out to Russia, including Commonwealth Games gold medalists Colin Oates, Ashley McKenzie and Powell as well as Sally Conway, winner of bronze in Glasgow.
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