Baga Withdraws from 2010 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

Kiri Baga performs at 2010 JGP Japan.
Photo by Thomas Fleeter
(11/24/10) - Kiri Baga, the 2009 U.S. novice champion, announced today she has withdrawn from the 2010 ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) of Figure Skating Final due to Achilles tendinopathy in her left ankle.

The injury, which Baga has battled since last spring, has become worse despite rest, modifications to her training routine and physical therapy. Severe pain prevents her from practicing and performing jumps.

Earlier this fall, the 15-year-old was one of eight women to qualify for the JGP Final as a result of second- and fifth-place finishes at her assignments in Japan and the Czech Republic, respectively. In 2009, Baga placed seventh at the JGP Final following a pair of gold-medal-winning performances in Germany and Turkey.

"Pulling out of the JGP Final is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make regarding skating, although I'm sure it was the right one," Baga said. "Because of severe tendonitis, I have been unable to train correctly."

Under the care of Dr. Loren N. Vorlicky at Twin Cities Orthopedics in Edina, Minn., Baga will begin a treatment regimen that includes ultrasound and lontophoresis treatments. She will stay off the ice for two to three weeks, pending her response to treatment, with the expectation of resuming full skating activity in six to eight weeks.

By withdrawing now, Baga, who last season placed fourth as a junior at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, hopes to be healthy enough to compete at the 2011 U.S. Championships, Jan. 22-30, in Greensboro, N.C.

"If I want to be prepared for U.S. Championships, I need to take this time to heal instead of compete," Baga said. "My healing is going well and I can hardly wait to get back on the ice."

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