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Hicks to miss rest of season with leg injury

U.S. junior champ underwent surgery Wednesday, sidelined four months

Courtney Hicks will not compete in the 2011-12 season because of a leg injury.
Courtney Hicks will not compete in the 2011-12 season because of a leg injury. (Michelle Harvath)

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By Amy Rosewater, special to icenetwork.com
(10/12/2011) - Courtney Hicks, the 2011 U.S. junior champion and a promising senior-level competitor at this year's U.S. championships, underwent leg surgery Wed., Oct. 12, which will be sideline her for four months and prevent her from competing this season, her coach, John Nicks, said in a telephone interview with icenetwork.com.

Hicks, 15, who won her season-opening Junior Grand Prix event in Australia, fell on her opening triple flip in her free skate at the JGP event last week in Milan and suffered a bone injury just below her knee, Nicks said. U.S. Figure Skating officials could not confirm details of the injury because of Health Information Privacy laws, commonly known as HIPAA.

"I am not a medical man, but you could see on the X-ray that there was a triangular bone below her knee, and there was a separation under the skin," Nicks said.

Diagnosis aside, the disappointment will be felt for a while.

"Her season came to an abrupt halt," Nicks said. "As soon as she took off on her first jump, I could see she was doing something she had never done before. Her strength is in her jumping, but she was out of position. The next thing, she was taken off in the stretcher."

Although X-rays were taken in Italy, Hicks, who trains with Nicks in Aliso Viejo, Calif., decided to return to her home state to undergo surgery closer to home.

"(Courtney) is now resting comfortably," Hicks' mother, Nelisa, said. "She will begin rehabilitation and return to the ice as soon as she's able."

Nicks said he had no indication prior to the competition that his skater had any problems with her leg.

In addition to winning the U.S. junior title last season, Hicks placed sixth at the 2011 world junior championships.

"We just have to be patient now and hopefully, by February or March, she'll be back on the ice," Nicks said.