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James Ellington sets sights on track return in 2018

Ellington sets sights on track return in 2018
By Sportsbeat

19/10/2017 at 11:14Updated 19/10/2017 at 12:43

Just ten months have passed since James Ellington was nearly killed in a motorbike accident yet the British sprinter has set his sights on a return to the track in 2018.

Ellington suffered a fractured pelvis, tibia and fibula in Tenerife in January when the bike he and training partner Nigel Levine were on was struck head on by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Since then, the 32-year-old has undergone three surgeries, but after having a carbon-fibre rod inserted into his leg - the first professional athlete to undergo the procedure - his rehab is well underway.

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And while Ellington is yet to put enough pressure on his leg to enable him to run, he is confident it's only a matter of time until he’s putting his spikes on.

"It's physically and mentally tough, because I'm used to being so active," Ellington told BBC Sport.

"But I'm definitely going in the right direction. I'm not going to be satisfied until I know I'm a competing athlete again.

"Rehab is going as well as it could be, but I've had little stages where I've plateaued.

"I'm out of the pool now. I've speeded things up and I'm trying to put a bit more force through my damaged leg.

"My doctors are treating it like a general rehab for someone in an accident like mine and focusing on getting me to function properly, but their mindset is also slowly switching over to the performance side of things."

Ellington was forced to watch from the stands as his 4x100m relay team-mates won gold at the World Championships in London this summer, 12 months after being part of the team that finished fifth in the Olympic final.

Mixed emotions have since followed, but Ellington is optimistic success is headed his way in the future.

"One minute I'm celebrating, the next I'm thinking 'that could have been me'," he said.

"It was bittersweet because it's something I've been working for my whole life.

"I want to be back on the track next year, training and maybe competing. Knowing my potential is the only thing getting me through.

"I definitely won't be going on a motorbike again."