Franklin in doubt for Pan Pacs with back problem
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin swam in a local pool to test her injured back on Wednesday and is still hopeful of competing at the Pan Pacific championships.
The 19-year-old American had back spasms during practice Tuesday, two days before the meet was due to begin.
The U.S. team issued a statement Wednesday saying Franklin swam at a local pool and tested her back “with minimal discomfort,” adding that her status for the 200-meter freestyle and 100 backstroke would be determined prior to preliminary heats on Thursday morning.
“It was very therapeutic and felt great being back in the water,” Franklin said in a statement. “I am feeling drastically better every hour that goes by and hoping and praying that I will be ready to race tomorrow. We will consistently coordinate with team doctors and staff to make the best decisions for myself and my team.”
Earlier, U.S. team spokesman Scott Leightman said Franklin was resting at the team hotel.
“Medical staff did a great job to get it under control last night,” Leightman said. ”(It) didn’t make sense to bring her down here. She’ll be monitored and we’ll re-evaluate. We don’t know yet. It’s a fluid situation.”
Leightman didn’t elaborate when asked whether she has had a similar injury in the past.
Franklin, who won both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympics, claimed six golds at the world championships last year. She is scheduled to swim the 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke and relays in Australia.
Franklin is one of the stars of an American team which includes 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who is four months out of retirement as he attempts to compete in his fifth Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Pan Pacific titles include teams from countries that border the Pacific Ocean, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China and Canada.