Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan will not start his Grand Prix season as originally scheduled, pulling out of next week's event in Russia because of an injury.
The Toronto native has a slight tear in his left calf that is causing him to pull out of the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, but Chan says his withdrawal is precautionary.
"It's not like it is really painful, it's nothing like I can't walk," Chan said. "I'm still able to skate, so it's nothing too serious. It's just something that we want to look at and catch it early before it gets any worse."
Chan, 18, said the injury stemmed from antibiotics he had to take after showing symptoms of H1N1 while training in Vancouver several weeks ago.
The antibiotic, as Chan learned later, takes away some muscle mass and despite feeling sore in his left calf — his kick-off leg — he kept training.
"I was so hard-headed I still thought I could do certain jumps that I shouldn't have, and pushed my body too hard when I should've just waited for it to heal," Chan said.
Chan said that he should be back in full training in five days and is planning to make his season debut on the ISU circuit at the HomeSense Skate Canada International in Kitchener, Ont., which begins Nov. 19.
"It's important for Patrick to get back to 100 per cent in preparation for the season ahead, which includes the upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games," said Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's high performance director. "Patrick is already looking forward to competing in November at HomeSense Skate Canada International and for the remainder of the season."
Chan, who a won silver medal at the world championships last season after winning at Skate Canada, the Trophée Eric Bompard and the Four Continents championships, said he would have made the same decision even if it wasn't an Olympic year.
"I would have taken the time to really to get it all better … sure if I went to Russia — I mean I could go and kind of grind it out, but I could have finished my long program and end up tearing much more of my muscle," Chan said.
Several members of the Canadian team will be in action this weekend at the Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris, the first Grand Prix event of the season.
They include national pairs champions Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison, ice dance champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Canadian men's silver medallist Vaughn Chipeur.
CBC Sports figure skating expert P.J. Kwong will host a live chat at cbcsports.ca for the Trophée Eric Bompard on Saturday at 7 a.m. ET.
The event will be broadcast on CBC at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (CBC-TV, CBCSports.ca).