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Liu could return from surgery in May

8 December 2008

China's world champion in the 110m hurdles, Liu Xiang, could be back on the track in May after successful foot surgery in the United States, local media reported on Monday.

The 2004 Olympic gold medalist, who was robbed of the chance of defending his title in Beijing in August by the injury, underwent a three-hour operation on his damaged right Achilles tendon in Houston on Friday.


"We felt he did very well through the surgery," surgeon Thomas Clanton, who also helped Houston Rockets center Yao Ming recover from a foot stress fracture last year, said in a press conference.


"His prognosis for running in the future is quite good."


Liu left the hospital in a wheelchair on Sunday looking relaxed, the China Daily added.


"The doctor said the rehabilitation needs some six months and we are not trying to rush him back to training," said Liu's long-time coach and mentor Sun Haiping, adding that the 25-year-old would remain in Houston to recuperate.


Liu had four pieces of bone removed from the Achilles tendon, including a bone spur between the tendon and the ankle bone which was the cause of his withdrawal before his first-round heat at the Bird's Nest in August.


"His physical condition is very good, which will make his rehabilitation faster than for normal people," said Sun.


"He may start jogging after Chinese New Year [in late January]."

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