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Liu heads to US for Achilles injury advice
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Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will head to the United States next week to seek advice on the Achilles injury that robbed him of the chance to defend his 110-meter hurdles crown at the Beijing Olympics.

The 25-year-old Athens gold medallist will consult medical experts in three cities, including a stop in Houston to meet with doctors who have worked with NBA All-star Yao Ming, Titan Sports reported yesterday.

"We will be taking (X-ray) images and some materials from inspections for experts there to have a look at, and have them take a look at Liu Xiang's foot," Liu's coach Sun Haiping told the paper.

"We'll ask them to provide diagnoses and some suggestions for treatment, but we won't decide on a course of action until we've returned home and weighed up all the options," Sun said.

Liu, whose grimacing exit from the first round of the 110m hurdles clouded the Games for millions of home fans, has been treated with traditional Chinese medicine and massage over the past two months.

The hurdler is back in light training but Sun said last month that he was unlikely to return to competition until next June.

Sun said Chinese doctors would accompany Liu on the trip, and continue their course of treatment.

"Unless it's absolutely necessary, we will do our best to avoid surgery," said Sun.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily October 23, 2008)

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