Do not ask for an official answer right now, because no one seems to have one. However, with less than three weeks to go before the start of the event, the duo's participation now seems less and less likely.
"Whatever time [Delobel's recovery] takes, we need to make sure that the problem is completely fixed before we resume training", Schoenfelder stated in mid-January. "We would certainly not go to worlds if we were not fit to play something big. We do not want to go as tourists!" he had added in laughter.
As a matter of fact, Delobel has not yet put a foot back on the ice and is still in the healing process of her injured shoulder. She has left her training base in Lyon, France, for the rehabilitation center in Capbreton, a small resort on the Atlantic Ocean south of Bordeaux.
Delobel injured her shoulder during the gala exhibition at the ISU Grand Prix Final in December in Goyang City, Korea. The duo had been having a fantastic season, winning both of their Grand Prix assignments (Skate America and the Trophée Eric Bompard) and the GP Final. Since the injury, they have withdrawn from the French championships in December and the European championships in January.
Delobel underwent arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 5 and left the hospital on Jan. 9. The operation lasted about three hours instead of two, because the surgeons found that her injury was more serious than they had expected. It was hoped that her being an athlete would speed up the healing process, but her recovery is taking longer than expected, and she had to wait until the first week of February to start rehabilitation in Capbreton.
"You know how Isabelle is," Schoenfelder said. "It is tough for her not to move, because she is always so active. Actually, she wanted to start doing things again right [after her operation], but she almost fainted."
Recovering fast enough to go to Los Angeles for the world championships was "clearly the goal," according to Schoenfelder. As time passes by, though, this goal seems out of reach for the couple.
Schoenfelder, who is studying to become a journalist, has opened a blog for Delobel and himself -- delobel-schoenfelder.fr. On that site, Delobel describes her routines at the Capbreton center.
"We wake up everyday at 7:15 to have breakfast. At 9 a.m., I start with a machine that looks more like it is meant for torture than for rehabilitation. It moves my arm upward and downward for 30 min. Fortunately, I define the amplitude myself."