2011 U.S. bronze medalists Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were forced to withdraw from the 2011 Four Continents Championships Friday, after Barrett was injured in a training accident at their rink in Coral Springs, Fla.
Reached by telephone Saturday, Denney said the injury happened close to the end of a practice session on Friday morning, as the pair did side-by-side triple toe loops.
"We had just skated a clean long program," she said. "After the program we went around to do another set of triple toes. I had done mine with a fast landing, a clean fast run-out, and his was a slower landing, and before I could even see anything my leg went right into the calf on his right leg."
"I didn't think it was that bad," Barrett said. "I wasn't even going to check it, but I pulled up my pants and there was a huge hole in my leg. It cut all the way to the muscle, so I had to get 12 stitches on the muscles, 14 to close that up and 16 on the outside."
Barrett says he will be on crutches for one to two weeks. He asked the doctors at the Coral Springs Medical Center if there was any way he and Denney could still compete in Taipei City next week, but they said that even taking the trip could be risky.
"They said even the flight would be bad, and landing on it could do more damage," Barrett said. "I can't put any pressure on it."
Barrett said he was still in quite a bit of pain, as of Saturday afternoon.
Denney said that the pair had been skating well since the AT&T US Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro.
"We've been skating so great," she said. "I really felt like we were peaking at the right time. Today and yesterday was rough. This morning, I was thinking, why I am here, shouldn't I be packing? It's still sort of a shock. This is something Jeremy and I wanted to do so badly, to redeem ourselves from nationals, because it's something I know we would have done."
Denney will continue to practice on her own until Barrett recovers.
"I feel like when I'm on the ice it's my safe little place," she said. "Right now it's hard not having Jeremy on the ice but I'll be doing what I love to do and keeping going. It's an emotional time right now."
Both Denney and Barrett wish last-minute substitutes Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker the best.
"It's unfortunate that we can't go," Barrett said, "But it's great for them and I'm sure they'll do good. It's short notice but it will be a good experience."
"I wish Mary Beth and Rockne all the very best of luck," added Denney, "And we will be supporting them and all of team USA from home."