Ice Network

Kayne, O'Shea will not petition for world team spot

Coach Peterson wants skaters to regain full health before returning to ice
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Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea withdrew from the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships after Kayne was diagnosed with a concussion resulting from a nasty fall she took on a throw in the short program. -Getty Images

The morning after he withdrew defending pairs champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea from the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to Kayne's concussion, Jim Peterson was searching, hard, for a silver lining.

"Tarah has to get surgery on her (right) knee," said Peterson, who coaches the pair in Ellenton, Florida. "She has been skating at 70 percent, at most, all year. She has not had time to get this knee taken care of and, the bottom line, it has to be looked after."

Two U.S. pairs spots are up for grabs for the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Kayne and O'Shea are not in the running.

"We will not be petitioning for a spot on the U.S. world team, " Peterson said.

Kayne took a hard fall on a throw triple flip during the pair's short program Thursday. At first, the skater did not suspect a concussion, and the pair attended the free skate draw. However, following U.S. Figure Skating protocol, officials reviewed video and determined the skater had hit her head.

After developing symptoms overnight, Kayne had a 30-minute checkup by a physician from University of Kansas Hospital on Friday morning and was diagnosed with a concussion. The team withdrew from the pairs free skate Saturday morning.

"Tarah, Danny and I just felt it was not safe enough to even try the warmup practice," Peterson said. "It just was too much risk right now. We're doing this because we're thinking of the future. We want to be healthy the entire season next year."

Kayne has been troubled by right knee tendonitis since last summer. The team competed at three international events this season, with its highest finish a fourth place at the NHK Trophy. But during a media teleconference prior to the U.S. championships, Kayne admitted she was skating in pain.

"It's something I've been managing," she said in response to a reporter's question.

"Tarah has been in an excruciating amount of pain every day," Peterson said. "Now, we are going to look after the knee, and it is going to be taken care of."

U.S. silver medalists Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, ninth at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships, have not competed this season. Scimeca Knierim underwent stomach surgery in September, and while the team has since resumed full training, the skaters did not have sufficient training time to compete in Kansas City this week. Should the team wish to be considered for one of the two pairs spots on the U.S. world team, a petition would have to be submitted to U.S. Figure Skating prior to the conclusion of the pairs free skate Saturday.