Swiss 800 metres world champion André Bucher is set to miss at least the first six weeks of the new athletics season after fracturing his left foot in training.
The Lucerne runner, who last year became the first ever Swiss to win a world championship title in track athletics, said he had picked up the injury while running round the bend during a routine training session.
"I mistimed one or two steps and as a result drove the foot full-on into the track," Bucher explained. "It means the first half of the season is over for me, including the European Cup and the meetings in Lucerne and Lausanne."
"I'm not going to get too down about it," Bucher added, "even if it means losing a large amount of training time."
The reigning Swiss sportsman of the year refused to speculate on whether the injury would seriously hamper his chances at the European Championships in August.
"That all depends on how quickly the injury heals," he said.
Swiss athletics association doctor Andreas Gösele has ruled out the need for an operation on the damaged foot.
"André will be treated cautiously," said Gösele. "That means he'll be given a special shoe with lifts and an alternative training programme incorporating work in water and on exercise bikes."
swissinfo with agencies