Reigning Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek of Naperville put some of the blame on himself for aggravating a groin injury that has forced him to postpone his return to competition.
U.S. Figure Skating announced Wednesday that Lysacek has withdrawn from next week's Skate America Grand Prix event in Kent, Washington. It was to have been his first competition since the 2010 Olympics.
"I do like to train hard," Lysacek said Wednesday evening by telephone. "So I have to take a little of the fault. Maybe I pushed a little too hard, too soon after being injured."
Lysacek said he was not worried that the injury, which he sustained in early August, could keep him out for the season.
"That's a valid question, but I think I will be OK," he said. "At the first sign of pain this time, I went straight to the doctor and asked what I should do."
The answer was a week or 10 days off the ice and closer monotoring of any future pain.
Lysacek, 27, said he was off the ice about five weeks since first pulling a right groin muscle before a practice. He said the injury occurred when his leg slipped on gravel while he was doing warm-up lunges outside the rink in Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
"I kept skating on it for a few days, and that possibly made it worse," he said. "When I couldn't walk or skate, I stopped."
After weeks of intensive physical therapy and deep tissue flushes, Lysacek said he felt fine when he first returned to training in early September. But the pain recurred as he started to practice all the elements in his programs.
His first planned event after Skate America is to be the U.S. Championships in January, but it is possible Lysacek may now compete in a minor (non-Grand Prix) international event this fall.
Among those under consideration are the NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany, Dec. 5-9 and the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia Dec. 13-16.
Lysacek wants to do one of those events both to practice and to get the technical qualification score necessary for world and regional championships. Even though those scores are relatively low, he said he would prefer to enter nationals without having to worry about them.
"I'm kind of devastated right now," he said. "The timing isn't good, but it could be worse."