Zimbabwe Olympic medalist Kirsty Coventry has dislocated her patella, also known as her kneecap, according to a tweet on her account. The injury occurred Monday, though she gave no reason as to why.
The two-time defending Olympic Champion in the 200 back was scheduled to race at the Indy Grand Prix this week, which would be her first big test after returning to the US to train in Austin with her former Auburn coach Kim Brackin.
According to the tweet, an MRI revealed that she would need “a lot of rehab,” but she kept a positive attitude saying that she would “overcome this”.
(More after the jump)
Patellar dislocations are not uncommon in young female athletes, and usually happens because of awkward twisting motions or a direct strike to the kneecap. As this is not something that usually happens in swimming, one would imagine that the injury happened during a dryland activity (though no other details were given).
According to the book Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine, the typical rehab time is between 6 and 16 weeks; the upper end of that range would but her right-up against the Olympic Games. This is a huge blow to her training, and a further setback to her struggles since taking a long period off in 2010. That has included trying to settle down to train through to London on three different continents and failing to final in her three races at last summer’s World Championships.