Perkins out of Australian titles

Australian sprinter needs time off to cure back problems

Champion sprinter Shane Perkins will not take part in this week's Australian track cycling titles in Adelaide due to his ongoing back problems. Having complained of pain in his hip and quad for almost a year, Perkins had MRI scans last week, revealing the source of the problem. It is not known whether he will be able to participate in the World Track Championships yet, which will be held in Denmark in March.

"It's hard to pinpoint exactly what's done it, because it hasn't made me hit the floor with pain," Perkins told AAP. "It'd been going on for about a year, and just through having it managed through massage and physio, it hasn't got any worse.

"But now it is at the point where it has got worse and the body needs a bit of a break because I haven't stopped for about a year and a half now. I haven't had a month off. Last week I had a total break and my back has come up quite well. I am on some medication to help reduce the inflammation and that's working well, which is good."

While Perkins was disappointed at not being able to compete, he also took the news philosophically. "It is bad (to have it) because I would've loved to be at the Australian titles, but maybe it's happened for a reason, maybe something's telling me you need to have a bit of a rest and then get back into it."

Speaking about the World Championships, the 23-year-old could not make any predictions but felt confident. "I've got seven weeks to train and seven weeks to be in the best shape. With my coach Sean Eadie, once we get there we'll worry about the tactics."

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