BOBSLEIGH: Dream is still alive for John
TROWBRIDGE pilot John Jackson is hoping the decision to delay surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon can help preserve his bid for a Winter Olympic medal next year.
Great Britain number one Jackson, who lives with women’s number one Paula Walker on Paxcroft Mead, suffered the injury during a training session at the University of Bath last week.
Jackson, who piloted the British four-man crew to fifth place in the World Championships earlier this year, landed awkwardly off the last barrier during a sprint hurdles exercise in Bath and was taken to the RUH.
He was offered the opportunity to have immediate surgery but, after discussions with the GB Bobsleigh officials, opted to wait and will now go under the knife in Scotland on Wednesday.
Jackson explained: “They normally repair these injuries within 24 hours, but I’ll be having a slightly different procedure.
“It’s quite innovative so that the healing time should be less then normal.
“I’ll be going up to Glasgow to see Professor Gordon Mackay. He likes to wait 10 days or so until the swelling has gone down.
“I was offered the surgery straight away, but it wasn’t really just my call.
“I had a scan (this week) and there doesn’t seem to be any external injury to soft tissue, so overall I’m happy with what’s going on.’’ Jackson revealed he knew immediately the seriousness of his injury.
“I was just doing the usual session, bounding over hurdles, and when I landed off the last one, I felt something and thought the hurdle had hit me. But as I took my next step I realised ‘something is not right here.’ “I was relatively calm and was thinking about what needs to happen next.’’ The Royal Marine remains bullish about his prospects of leading Britain’s bid for medals in the Games in Sochi in February.
He added: “No one said winning an Olympic medal would be easy.
“The season starts in four months and (World Cup) races a little bit after that. By the time those races come along I should be good to go.
“Obviously I won’t be in exactly the same shape as last year, but there is still plenty of time and I’ll still be keeping in shape in the gym from the knees up.’’
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