2004 Olympic high jump champion Slesarenko plans her return | 02.11.2012
In addition to the surgery on the ligaments, Slesarenko missed the entire 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons as she was pregnant. She gave a birth to a daughter Elizaveta three months ago.
"I'm doing well despite the fact that my leg feels very heavy and I have to get about on crutches. At least, I also have my sister to help me.” Slesarenko told Russian media.
“I had the same surgery in 2010 in Moscow and I started training again quite quickly but this time I want to solve the problem once and for ever,” she added, suggesting that she will need between four and eight weeks rehabilitation, some of which will be done in Munich, before starting training seriously again.
“I must have the best of health to start training again, with all the usual strength work and jumping, but giving birth isn't an issue. I have an excellent example from (2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist) Anna Chicherova. Look at how she came back after giving the birth to a child.”
Slesarenko kept fit throughout her pregnancy and resumed training just a few days after giving birth before she made the decision to get her knee fixed.
“I was straight into a fitness programme and did some light lifting but then I decided it was the perfect time for surgery.”
When she is given the green light to starting jumping again, she intends to go a training camp in Sochi. "Yevgeniy Zagorulko (her coach) said that he would happy to see me there, if even I come on the crutches," joked Slesarenko.
Zagorulko, who also coaches Chicherova as well as the 2008 Olympic Games men's champion Andriy Silnov, turned 70 in August and had intended to retire after London 2012 but he was persuaded to carry on guiding his group for at least one more year.
“We all kindly asked our coach to continue his work with our group and eventually he has considered it. As I understood it, Zagorulko will extend his life in athletics at least until the World Championships in Moscow next summer,” she added.
It is there, in front of family and friends, which Slesarenko hopes to finally lift an outdoor World Championships medal.
In addition to her Olympic title, she has twice won at the World Indoor Championships but finished fourth at the 2007 and 2011 World Championships, as well as 10th in 2009.