(Reuters) - Evgenia Medvedeva, widely seen as the favourite for gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, is nursing a broken foot and could miss next month’s Grand Prix Final, the Russian figure skater has said.
In an interview carried on the Russian Skating Federation’s website, Medvedeva - who topped the podium in Grand Prix events in Moscow and Osaka - said she felt pain before the Russian event in October but was able to compete after taking painkillers.
She was then diagnosed with having a crack in a bone in her right foot but she decided to compete in Japan earlier this month.
“Yes, there was a big risk that my leg and foot would not stand it. But this is the Olympic season,” Medvedeva was quoted as saying, adding that she had never missed a meet because of an injury.
“After the short programme, I was worse. For the free programme, I skated on strong painkillers.”
An MRI in Japan confirmed the injury and on her return to Moscow she was put in a cast, she said, adding that she was undergoing rehabilitation and doing everything she could to get back on her skates.
She added that she hoped she could still take part in the Grand Prix Final.
“If doctors do not allow me to compete in Japan, that would be the worse-case scenario. It would be very difficult to watch from the sidelines,” she was quoted as saying.
“But I very much hope this will not happen.”
If Medvedeva is unable to take part she would not be the only big name missing from the Final, which is to be held in Japan from Dec. 7-10.
Home favourite Yuzuru Hanyu is out with an injured ankle, while Canada’s Patrick Chan has dropped out to devote himself to training after a disappointing finish in Skate Canada.
While there was no suggestion that Medvedeva’s injury could prevent her from competing at the Winter Games in February, the International Olympic Committee has yet to decide on Russia’s participation amid ongoing questions over its anti-doping programme.
The IOC is set to make the decision at its executive board meeting on Dec. 5-7.
Reporting by Clara Ferreira Marques, writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Peter Rutherford