Sun Haiping (L), the coach of Chinese 110m hurdle star Liu Xiang, works on Liu's foot prior to a training session in Shanghai, east China, March 10 2009. [Xinhua]
The Athens Olympic gold medalist hurdler Liu Xiang was scheduled to have a physical examination on June 25. However, in order to avoid attention from the media, Liu decided to have the check-up two days ahead of plan, Shanghai Morning Post reports.
The news was confirmed by Chen Shiyi, the doctor in charge of the examination. According to Chen, Liu completed the physical examination on June 23 at Huashan Hospital. But the doctor refused to speak about the result of the examination.
Liu was dealt a cruel blow last August when his leg played up during the preliminary rounds of Olympic competition leaving him unable to defend his crown on home soil.
A successful operation by American doctor Tom Clanton on his right Achilles' tendon last December enabled Liu to resume training unaided ahead of schedule. Since then, the question when Liu will return to competition has become a hotly-debated topic.
"Team Liu" revealed that Liu's recovery would take about six months, making the timing of this physical check very sensitive.
Liu has consistently endeavored to keep a low profile on the issue, but this has never fully succeeded in diverting public attention from him. It is reported that "Team Liu" will announce the result of the physical examination next week, and people will then know when the flying man will make his comeback.
(China.org.cn by Xiang Bin, June 25, 2009)