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Rio Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend says she will return stronger following rehab from a serious knee injury

By Alex Hoad

Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend has vowed to come back stronger after undergoing surgery on a knee injury which could see her sidelined for nine months.

Less than two months have passed since the 27-year-old Canterbury star helped GB’s women overcome the Netherlands on penalties to claim gold in Rio, something she claimed was a ‘dream come true’.

However, after swapping Polo Farm for a stint playing in Belgium for Ghent side La Gantoise, her season has been cut short by a cartilage problem in her left knee which saw her go under the knife in London on Tuesday.

Susannah Townsend
Susannah Townsend

Townsend admitted: “Over the next nine months I will be experiencing something I have never experienced before. Four weeks of bone bruising is my longest injury to date. I am going to learn a lot about myself.

“It’s not ideal obviously but I need to make sure I really am sensible and do this rehab properly. The team psychologist is going to be sick of me by the end of this as I will be working closely with her to make sure I tackle this mentally in the right way.”

She added: “I know it is going to be a tough time for me but I am certainly ready to tackle it head first and come back better than before.”

Townsend played in all eight games as GB claimed gold in Brazil and she admitted: “The positives are I managed to get through the Olympics without any problems, in fact I felt the fittest I have ever been and in the best condition of my life.

“This also comes at a time when the international calendar isn’t as busy as other years. I am going to miss training with the team but I hope to be back in time to fight for my place when I am back at full fitness.

“I want to continue to play for GB and England so I will try and learn to be patient, not rush anything and do everything that I am told.

“My team-mates know when I miss one training session it drives me crazy. I will struggle as it is such a big part of my life but I need to accept this challenge and come back stronger from it.”

To follow Townsend's road to recovery, you can read her blog here.

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