Thursday, January 8, 2009

Virtue, Moir to make comeback next week

Blessings-in-disguise. A pierced navel. Pink Floyd. And sand bags.

Those were just four of the topics in an eclectic mix of subjects that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir chatted about Thursday as they contemplated their comeback at the 2009 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships next week in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Canada's world ice dancing silver medalists were forced to pull out of Grand Prix Series this past fall after Virtue underwent surgery in early October to repair painful injuries in both shins. The condition, called chronic exertional compartment syndrome, had been hampering her training for almost a year. When the pain intensified over the summer, Virtue knew she had no choice but to seek relief. The surgery involved cutting the overly tight sheath around the muscles to allow them to expand normally when she skates.

"Obviously, our fall wasn't how we planned it to go. We hit a couple of little speed bumps here, but now I think we're just excited to get to nationals and be back training again. Everything seems to be going really well, so we're just pumped for next week," said the 21-year-old Moir.

Virtue, 19, conceded she will likely have more butterflies than usual when they step on the ice in Saskatoon, because they have not been able to put the usual mileage on their programs.

"Coming back from an injury like this, it's natural to be apprehensive and a little bit nervous, but it's really comforting to know [Scott] will be by my side," Virtue said, noting that she is close to 100 percent recovered.

Despite the setback and the challenge of making their season debut in January, the young couple has not altered its expectations for the big events still to come.

"Onward and upward" is how Moir put it, confirming their intention to be in the fight for the world title in March in Los Angeles.

While Virtue attended to her recovery through physiotherapy, Moir continued to train on his own through October and November. In early December, Virtue returned to the ice for short periods of time, gradually increasing the length of their training sessions to about an hour and a half each day. That is still only about half the hours the couple would usually log.

Full article.

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