Ice Network

No timetable for Farris' return from concussion

U.S. bronze medalist suffered injury on hard fall during summer practice
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Like many athletes in sports today, Joshua Farris is having a complicated recovery from a concussion. -Getty Images

Christy Krall said she would love to see Joshua Farris return to the ice, but her main desire is for her skating pupil to get healthy, and she isn't sure how long his recovery will take.

U.S. Figure Skating announced Friday that Farris, the 2015 U.S. bronze medalist, withdrew from both of his Grand Prix assignments because he is recovering from a concussion. He missed Champs Camp, which was held for top Team USA skaters in late August, as well.  

"Concussions are a whole new world," said Krall, who has been coaching Farris since 2011 along with Damon Allen. "I know he loves skating and he misses skating a lot, but concussions aren't something you can mess around with anymore."

Farris, an artistic skater who claimed silver at the 2015 Four Continents Championships, hit his stride late last season, and there were high hopes for him to do well at Skate Canada and the NHK Trophy. But, according to Krall, Farris had a bad fall on a quadruple toe loop in practice in the middle of July in Colorado Springs and "snapped his neck back, like whiplash."

"I didn't see it happen," Krall said. "But about a half hour afterward, he came up to me and said he wasn't feeling right, and he headed over to the (Olympic) Training Center.

"He had some headaches and just didn't feel right," Krall added. "He felt jittery and nervous. Three weeks later, he came in and did a double axel and he didn't fall, but when he landed, he said something wasn't right, and he hasn't skated since. We're being very aggressive on his treatment, and he's healing. He had a concussion when he was much younger, when he was about 7 or 8, and he couldn't withstand another injury."

Krall said that Farris has not been on the ice since.

Krall, who is known for studying the science of the sport, stressed that right now, Farris "needs the fan's support."

"We all want the very best for Josh," Krall said. "He's a hard-working athlete and a wonderful human being."

In a news release from U.S. Figure Skating, Farris said, "I couldn't be more disappointed to withdraw from my Grand Prix assignments.

"I am steadily healing and hope to be back on the ice as soon as possible."

Farris, a former world junior champion, made his worlds debut in 2015, finishing 11th. According to U.S. Figure Skating, Timothy Dolensky will replace Farris at Skate Canada. There is no word yet regarding a replacement for Farris at NHK Trophy.

Farris isn't the only skater who has been set back by concussions lately. DeeDee Leng, who trained with Simon Shnapir as a pairs skater last season, suffered a concussion earlier this year and has been off the ice since. World champion ice dancer Gabriella Papadakais also suffered a concussion and is expected to be sidelined until November.