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BEIJING - Injury-ridden Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang could be back to training next June, coach Sun Haiping said here on Friday.
Liu underwent surgery in London in August after he limped out of the 110m hurdles for the second consecutive Olympics with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The 29-year-old Shanghai native has been in the United States for physical rehabilitaion since mid-October.
"Liu Xiang's foot recovery is satisfying. If everything goes well, he can be back to training in June next year or even sooner, " Sun Haiping told reporters Friday evening at a gala hosted by the Chinese Athletics Association.
However, Sun added that it remains unknown when Liu is able to return to competition.
"Training and competition are totally different. An athlete must go through extensive training in order to be fit for competition. Although Liu has a desire to compete again, we need to analyze the situation of his body after intensive training," he said.
Liu Xiang became China's first male Olympic champion in athletics when he clocked 12.91 seconds to win gold in Athens in 2004.