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Ankle injury knocks Denney, Coughlin out of worlds

Zhang, Bartholomay will compete in their place for Team USA
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Americans Caydee Denney and John Coughlin will be sidelined for 8-12 weeks. -Jay Adeff

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the reigning U.S. pairs bronze medalists, have withdrawn from the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships due to a right ankle injury to Denney. The world championships will take place March 24-30 in Saitama, Japan.

Denney, 20, sustained the injury Wednesday in practice and is expected to resume training in 8-12 weeks.

"We're so devastated that we won't be able to represent the U.S. and skate for the wonderful Japanese fan base at worlds," Denney and Coughlin said. "Our preparation for this event has been fantastic, and we were looking forward to showcasing our hard work. We are thankful that Caydee will make a full recovery and that this won't affect our long-term goals.

"We are, as always, 100 percent behind Team USA and will be supporting our teammates every step of the way." 

Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, first alternates to the U.S. world team, have accepted an invitation in Denney and Coughlin's place. The Florida-based duo most recently placed 12th at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games after winning the U.S. silver medal in January.

Denney and Coughlin, who won the U.S. pairs title in 2012, have battled various ailments over the past two seasons. The team missed the 2013 U.S. Championships after Coughlin tore a labrum in his left hip, and, as a result, were also sidelined during the 2013 World Championships.

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