Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
Communications Director of US Swimming Scott Leightman has an encouraging update regarding Missy Franklin's back:
Update: Missy Franklin will race the 200 free this morning in Heat 5. Will then evaluate for 100 back #panpacs2014— Scott Leightman (@scottleightman) August 20, 2014
American swimming sensation Missy Franklin is uncertain for the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships after leaving Tuesday's practice with back spasms.
The 19-year-old University of California sophomore is currently in Australia in preparation for the Championships, which begin Thursday. According to the New York Times' Karen Crouse, however, she had to skip practice Wednesday morning, while she is uncertain for her tuneups in the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke on Thursday.
Franklin took to Twitter to provide an update, and she didn't sound too concerned.
Had some back spasms after workout today, already feeling better! Thank you for all your support and concern❤️— Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) August 19, 2014
Still, News Corp's Todd Balym reported she had to be carried from the pool, so it's not something to completely ignore. With so little time to recover, it would appear she'll either have to skip the Championships or race at less than full strength. The Chicago Tribune's Philip Hersh noted why the former route could be detrimental for her status at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing:
It was at the 2011 World Championships that Franklin truly burst onto the national scene, grabbing six gold medals.
If she's forced to miss the Pan Pacific Championships or be limited in any way, it would unquestionably be a major blow for Team USA. Hopefully she is able to make a quick recovery, because the sport is better when the four-time Olympic gold medalist is in the pool.