Sprinter Wayde van Niekerk has called an early end to his season after struggling to shake off a persistent back injury.
“This injury has plagued me throughout the summer and I had to receive treatment from Dr (Hans-Wilhelm) Muller-Wohlfahrt,” Van Niekerk said in a statement on Friday.
“Obviously you don’t want your competitors to know if you are struggling in any way, so I’ve kept it quiet until this point.”
After retaining his 400m title and bagging the 200m silver medal at the World Championships in London, Van Niekerk was expected to compete at the first leg of the Diamond League series final in Zurich next week.
“I am bitterly disappointed I won’t be competing in the last Diamond League event of the season as I haven’t won a Diamond League final before and was hoping to get my hands on one of the fiercely contested trophies,” he said.
The Olympic 400m champion and world record holder had again flaunted his versatility this year, clocking a 200m national record of 19.84, and he confirmed last week he would consider a 100m/200m double at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April.
Sacrificing a potential maiden Diamond League series title, he was eager to be ready for the new campaign.
“We feel it is in my best interest to recover fully, in order to ensure I can take on the 2018 season in good health and at full strength.”