Dame Flora Duffy has revealed that an ongoing knee injury will keep her out of full training and racing for the foreseeable future.
In a video posted on Instagram, Dame Duffy said that the injury first arose after the Commonwealth Games in July last year. Afterward, it really flared up at the start of September.
Following a scan in September, tearing in the patella tendon in her knee was discovered. To address the issue, Dame Duffy received a PRP injection into her tendon (Platelet Rich Plasma) to help it heal. Dame Duffy noted that the injection itself was painful and she had to take particular care with training for ten days afterward.
Thereafter she had to be careful with her training load until the end of November when the WTCS season ended. In the months between September and November, she, therefore, did not run a lot. She took on some sessions here and there but otherwise had to be careful with the intensity to manage her knee.
Her speed at WTCS Bermuda and WTCS Abu Dhabi last November is even more impressive in hindsight given the injury challenges behind the scenes.
Dame Duffy admitted that she was “amazed I got through the end of the season”. However, in continuing she made her knee worse.
At the start of this year, in January, the knee flared up once more and she has since struggled to calm it. She mentioned her knee as part of the reason for skipping WTCS Abu Dhabi in March. Since then, other issues have arisen in her knee alongside that of the patella injury.
Right now, Dame Duffy and her team are trying to figure out how to best rehabilitate her knee while also training. For large chunks of this year, she has not trained at all. At this point, she is swimming but mainly pulling and without pushing off any walls. She has also added “a tiny amount of cycling”.
“I would like to be back on the race course in August for the Paris Test Event,” she said, “but I just need to see how my rehab goes, how my training goes and take it week by week.”
With the 2024 Olympic Games as her overarching goal, she will prioritize her recovery in her pursuit of another Olympic gold. Hopefully, her injury trouble can be resolved soon. Such persistent injuries can be often be extremely difficult mentally and so Duffy’s decision to share her experience will likely help plenty of athletes with similar injuries holding them back from fully engaging in their sport.
As a consequence of Dame Duffy’s injury, a new WTCS winner is all-but guaranteed this year.