Etienne Stott insists he is playing the long game in his bid to bounce back from injury in style by defending his canoe slalom Olympic title in Rio.
Stott and partner Tim Baillie have endured a difficult year as they looked to build on their London 2012 gold medal.
After the duo won a World Cup silver medal in Augsburg their season was cut short in July as Stott dislocated his left shoulder in Spain.
Stott is no stranger to this type of injury, having dislocated his right shoulder in 2011.
On that occasion he returned a year later to win Olympic gold in London but the 34-year-old insists he is taken nothing for granted as he bids to make lightning strike twice in Brazil at the Rio 2016 Games.
“Canoeing is the sport that I love,” he said. “I wish I was out there now and my aim is to completely get back onto the water and to do my best to be in a position to go forwards towards Rio 2016.
“But I also want to be able to continue paddling well after I stop competing so this is not a short term plan that I'm undertaking,
“The task which takes up my thinking at the moment is to be able to move my shoulder in a complete range of motion.
“It’s very small steps that I’m making at the moment but they are all moving me in the right direction and that is to get back to full health and be back on the water in 2014.
“Compared to this one I look back at my 2011 injury as almost a dream. Last time around it was relatively simple damage and I had surgery 10 days after injuring myself.
“This injury is more severe and a greater uncertainty as to how it will work out. But the doctor and medical staff are all happy with progress.”
© Sportsbeat 2013