Czisny fights through calf injury, will take time off

Skater hurt herself in Thursday practice session on attempted triple flip

Alissa Czisny's fifth-place finish can be partly attributed to a calf injury.
Alissa Czisny's fifth-place finish can be partly attributed to a calf injury. (Getty Images)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(12/10/2011) - Alissa Czisny competed through pain during her programs at the 2011 Grand Prix Final, having suffered an injury to her left calf during a practice session.

The injury contributed to a disappointing free skate performance and a fifth-place finish overall.

"It wasn't easy today," Czisny said. "It wasn't easy in practice, it wasn't easy in warmup, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy in competition. All I could do was keep trying my best, keep fighting and not give up."

The injury happened Thursday, on an attempted triple flip.

"At the very beginning of practice, it was the way I picked on a flip jump," Czisny said. "It's one of those things that can happen. There's not much you can do."

It wasn't the Grand Prix Final the two-time U.S. champion wanted, but as skaters often say, better injuries happen in the fall than at the U.S. or world championships.

"She will take probably a week off and rest," said Czisny's coach, Jason Dungjen. "Actually, it's the perfect time for this to happen, if it had to happen. I have to go to Italian nationals [to coach Valentina Marchei] anyway, and I am not going to be there. When I get back, it still gives us five weeks until U.S. nationals."

U.S. Figure Skating team doctors Peter Breen and Jen Burke examined the injury and said competing would not cause further damage.

"They said it was something I would not make worse by skating on it," Czisny said. "It shouldn't be skated on, but it's not going to make it worse by skating on it. I'm going to go home, rest, let this heal and then train hard for nationals and beyond."