Malaysian gymnast's injury woes continue

PETALING JAYA - Sometimes when it rains, it pours.

After being sidelined with a host of injuries for nine months since Sukma (Malaysia Games) last July, national artistic gymnast Tracie Ang longed to return to competition at the Artistic Celtic Cup-Commonwealth Invitational in Perth, Scotland, last month.

It was to be her warm-up ahead of the Commonwealth Games (July 23-Aug 3) and Asian Games (Sept 19-Oct 4).

Unfortunately, luck was not on her side and just days before the meet, she injured her lower back.

What's worse, the national selection trials for the Commonwealth and Asian Games are on May 23-24, and it looks unlikely that Tracie will recover in time.

The 21-year-old last year suffered a string of injuries to her ankle, shoulder and hamstring.

Disappointment doesn't even begin to describe how Tracie feels as she attempts the near-impossible task of recovering in time for the selection trials.

"I injured the disc between my lumbar one and two in my spine. It just happened all of a sudden, I was hanging during training and then I heard a crack. Basically, one disc moved forward and the other moved back," explained Tracie.

"When I was injured last year, I never checked my back so I guess it was probably due to wear and tear. Right now, I can't bend forward or backwards but I'm still able to go about my daily routines ... I just don't have full use of my back right now," added Tracie, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

Admitting that back injuries sometimes take months to recover from, she is nonetheless optimistic.

"For the time being, I'm just concentrating on recovering. I don't want to rush it, because that won't be good for me in the long run. I just want to recover as fast and as safely as I can," said Tracie.

"I really hope I can recover in time for the trials or at least the Singapore Open (June 6-9)."

Besides Tracie, the other national gymnasts vying for a spot in the Asian and Commonwealth Games are Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Tan Ing Yueh, Nur Eli Ellina Azmi and Rachel Yeoh.