It wasn't even two months ago that American long jumper and four-time world champion Dwight Phillips wrote in his online diary for the IAAF that he would be plenty ready enough to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials later this June, despite an April car accident that left with him with back and neck injuries.
But in the end, it wasn't the car accident that did in Phillips's chances of jumping at the trials and making it to London--it was a reoccurring Achilles tendon problem that Phillips announced via his Twitter account Friday had required surgery and would keep him out of action until 2013.
Due to a reoccurringAchilles problem I will not make trials. I want to thank my sponsors Nike and Kellogg's and fans for all your support— Dwight Phillips (@_DwightPhillips) June 15, 2012
I have had surgery and I am looking forward to competing at the World Championship in 2013 which will be my final year.— Dwight Phillips (@_DwightPhillips) June 15, 2012
Phillips is the reigning world champion in the long jump, owner of the longest career jump of any active competitor, and the 2004 Olympic gold medalist -- all of which would have made him one of the heavy favorites (if not the favorite) going into London.
We recently named Phillips one of the Eye on Olympics' 10 U.S. Olympians to Watch, and he told USA Today in May he was preparing for London with an eye on breaking Mike Powell's 21-year-old world record.
"The only thing I'm really missing is the world record," Phillips said. "It has to be the right atmosphere, and the Olympic Games is the stage for things like that to happen."
Unfortunately for Phillips -- and for all of Team USA -- unless Friday's report proves to be unfounded, that's a stage he won't be able to take.