Skier Emily Sarsfield has her sights set on the World Championships at the end of January but she will not rush back as she continues her recovery from knee surgery.
The British ski cross number one had micro-fracture surgery in September to repair a long standing knee problem after tearing all four ligaments.
It is the same injury that stopped Sarsfield from competing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010.
The Durham racer missed out on selection for Team GB in Sochi earlier this year, but went on to finish 12th in the World Cup in France in March.
And Sarsfield admits she is focused on coming back stronger from injury and will use the time away from the slopes to re-assess her performances.
“This is something I’ve known about for a while,” said the 31-year-old.
“I’ve had to change and adapt a lot of my training because I didn’t have any cartilage on the outside of my knee, so I had micro-fracture surgery to put a cushion in between.
“I’ll be out for a total of four months but the aim is the World Championships at the end of January.
“I’m taking the positives and injuries are a good time to refocus, assess performance, and have a look at weaknesses and how to improve on those.”
Sarsfield is also aware that at this stage of her career she cannot afford to risk coming back too soon and will only return when she is 100 per cent ready.
But while 2014 may have proved a real mix of emotions so far, Sarsfield insists her season-ending results give her plenty of reason for optimism.
“It’s been a pretty tough year, a few more lows than previous seasons,” she added. “Missing out on Sochi very nearly killed the passion for the sport.
“It was hard to deal with mentally but I had my best result at the end of year, I came 12th in the World Cup finals and really started to improve, so that’s motivated and helped me to keep my focus.
“I’ve rushed injuries before but now I’m at the stage of my career where if I rush this one it could impact my future in the sport.
“It would be nice to get to the World Championships but I’m not going to force it.”
© Sportsbeat 2014