March 23, 2018 / 10:50 AM / 4 months ago

Britain's Yarnold has knee surgery to treat joint disease

(Reuters) - Double Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold has had knee surgery to treat a rare genetic joint disease, the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Skeleton - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Finals - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 17, 2018 - Lizzy Yarnold of Britain celebrates. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Yarnold, who became the first Briton to successfully defend a Winter Olympic title when she claimed skeleton gold at this year’s Games in Pyeongchang, is on crutches but should return to training in a few weeks.

FILE PHOTO: Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Skeleton - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Finals - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 17, 2018 - Lizzy Yarnold of Britain reacts. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

The 29-year-old was diagnosed with pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) in November, before February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

“The operation went well which is great and I’m pleased to have got it out of the way,” she said.

“It’s a bit strange being at home resting and using crutches takes a bit of getting used to, but no excuse now not to catch up on my admin.”

PVNS causes the tissue lining a person’s joints and tendons to thicken and overgrow, and Yarnold was advised by specialists that she could wait until the end of the season before having the minor operation needed to fix the problem.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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