Compression sleeves cause freak injury for Olympic hopeful

The Runner’s World Editors
·2-min read
Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - Getty Images
Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • Olympic hopeful Jonny Mellor has been forced to withdraw from the marathon trials in Kew Gardens on March 26 due to a freak injury.

  • The Stockport-based runner ran a 2:10 marathon twice last year and was the first British athlete home in the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon.

  • Mellor is suffering from a gout-related ankle injury, which is believed to have been caused by his compression sleeves.

After crossing the line of the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon last October in 2:10:38, Jonny Mellor was gearing up for the Olympic trials, held in Kew Gardens on March 26. As Callum Hawkins has already been selected, the first two men across the line in sub-2:11:30 will automatically be selected for the Tokyo team.

Unfortunately, Mellor won't be on the start line next week, after suffering a freak injury, which is thought to be related to his compression sleeves.

Talking to the press, Mellor explained that in mid-January, he completed at 24-mile run on snow and ice, leaving his calf muscles feeling a little tight. He slept in compression sleeves that evening but woke the next morning to find one of the sleeves had rolled down slightly, leaving a small indent in his lower leg.

'I woke up a bit sore the following day but I’d run 24 miles so I expected to be,' he said, 'Then all that week I felt something was not quite right.'

Believing he was just suffering from marathon training niggles, Mellor continued to train. A few days later, his ankle had started to swell. The following week, it was red, angry and really swollen. Worried about the Olympic trials on the horizon, Mellor tried to continue his training, managing the pain by icing his ankle.

Mellor's coach, Steve Vernon, suspected the indent left by the compression sleeve may be the cause of the issue. After an MRI scan and blood tests, the problem was diagnosed as gout - a condition traditionally associated with older people, who eat a poor diet or consume too much alcohol, causing too much uric acid to form crystals around the joints.

For Mellor, who is only 34-years-old and doesn't drink, the uric acid crystals irritated the fat pad behind his Achilles tendon. Mellor was forced to miss several days of training and have the fluid drained from his ankle.

He is now running pain-free again but has stepped back from the marathon trials to avoid causing long term damage to his ankle by returning to competition too soon.

Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and to see Mellor on the start line in Tokyo.

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