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Usain Bolt's struggles 'just a phase,' Asafa Powell says

At least one person isn't too worried about sprinter Usain Bolt's injury-plagued season.

Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell sees Bolt's stretch of withdrawals and subpar performances over the past few months as "just a phase."

"We all get injuries," Powell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I've been injured for years and I'm still running fast."

Bolt recently canceled a planned appearance at the Diamond League meet in Paris this weekend.

The 28-year-old Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 meters has complained of discomfort in his left leg. A blocked sacroiliac joint is restricting movement and putting pressure on his knee and ankle.

"At the moment I am unable to compete at 100%," he said in a statement. "I look forward to getting back into full training as soon as possible."

Though Bolt is expected to compete in the world championships later this summer, Powell, who has held the world record in the 100, wondered if skipping that event might be prudent for his countryman.

"If he's not 100% then I think he should focus mainly on the relays or the 200," Powell was quoted as saying. "But hopefully he can get back in shape and feel like his old self."

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton

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