World record-holding breaststroker Ruta Meilutyte broke her elbow while biking to practice late last week, and will have surgery this week.
SwimVortex.com reports that Meilutyte was on her way to training Friday when she fell off her bike, breaking her elbow.
Meilutyte was the 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 breast for Lithuania, but she lives and trains in Great Britain.
She’ll also undergo surgery in Britain. SwimVortex reports that Meilutyte’s surgery will be done by Andrew Murphy, a well-known elbow/shoulder specialist in Plymouth, England.
The surgery is being described as “minor,” and the 18-year-old Meilutyte hopes to be back into the swing of training and competition in the near future. She told SwimSwam she’d likely be out of the pool for around four weeks, give or take based on how quickly it heals.
She did tell SwimVortex that the surgery might cut into her short course season, but expressed optimism that her long course season (leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games) would be unaffected:
“I will not be sat idle through this period and I intend to be in great condition for when I can get back into the pool. My short-course season may suffer somewhat but I don’t see any reason why my long course season can’t be as good as it would have been. I’ve got a great team around me and I’ll be working hard; it just won’t be in chlorine for a while.”
Meilutyte is the world record-holder in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes and should be in the hunt for a repeat gold in the 100 at next summer’s Olympics.