By Gene Cherry
RALEIGH North Carolina (Reuters) – Olympic champion and world 5,000 and 10,000 metres record holder Kenenisa Bekele has a ruptured calf muscle that threatens his outdoor season, the Ethiopian’s manager told Reuters on Thursday.
“It is clear he needs four, but probably more … six weeks rest, then start training, so basically you can consider the season is over,” Jos Hermens said in a telephone interview from the Netherlands.
“There is a little chance for August (return),” Hermens said. “Personally I don’t think so, but I know he still hopes to.”
Bekele ruptured the muscle while training on a hard track in Ethiopia in February, Hermens said.
The 27-year-old was preparing for the indoor season at the time and has not competed since then. He had been scheduled to be one of the top athletes on the new Diamond League circuit.
Doctors in the Netherlands diagnosed the problem on Thursday after a series of scans and examinations.
“It is very clear that it was a rupture,” Hermens said.
Surgery will not be required but Bekele will need lots of exercise to strengthen his right leg, which has been weakened by the injury and lack of training, his manager said.
“He thought it was something small,” Hermens said. “So he would take two weeks off, then go back in training. It would be OK for a while, then the rupture would open and close so some tissue was damaged.”
He underwent treatment in Germany earlier this year but returned home and experienced more problems, leading to the decision to see doctors in the Netherlands.