Wayde van Niekerk edges closer to return after long lay-off

Olympic and world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk has entered the second week of light track training as he continues to prepare for next season.

Wayde van Niekerk Picture: SOWETANLIVE

Van Niekerk has been out of action since late last year after injuring his knee while playing in a celebrity touch rugby match at Newlands Stadium ahead of a Rugby Championship Test match between the Springboks and New Zealand.

His coach Ans Botha said the first man in history to go sub-10 in 100m‚ sub-20 in 200m‚ sub-31 in 300m and sub-44 in 400m trains on the track twice a week as part of his rehabilitation programme but there is still a long way to go.

“He is not going full out at the moment but he is working on the track twice a week.

“This is part of his rehabilitation programme and hopefully he will get over it without any problems‚” said Botha.

As part of his rehabilitation programme‚ Botha said that Van Niekerk would travel to Doha next week where he has been consulting with respected Sports Medicine Physician Dr Louis Holtzhausen since he suffered the injury.

“He is flying to Doha again next week for more tests and we will probably know by the end of November or beginning of December how far he is from full recovery and if he is ready to move to the next step of his recovery programme‚” added Botha.

If he makes a full recovery‚ Van Niekerk may appear in the Diamond League‚ the World Championships in Doha during September next year and the 2022 Olympic Games in China where he will be looking to defend his 400m titles.

“I have to rebuild‚ refresh myself and just use this year to come back stronger.

“I am enjoying my time off but when I come back to the track it will be back to serious business in trying to continue my dominance‚” said Van Niekerk earlier this year.

Mahlatse Mphahlele- TimesLIVE

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