Sky Scholar Max Litchfield to miss European Short Course Swimming Championships in Denmark

By Mark Ashenden

Last Updated: 03/12/2017, 16:36 GMT

Max Litchfield's hunt for a major medal is on hold
Max Litchfield's hunt for a major medal is on hold

Max Litchfield has expressed his frustration at dropping out of the GB squad for the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Denmark.

The 22-year-old Sky Sports Scholar was part of a 10-strong team for the event in Copenhagen - taking place between December 13-17 - but has withdrawn because of a niggling shoulder injury.

With the Commonwealth Games in Australia just four months away, Litchfield has opted to focus on rehabilitation and improving his fitness.

"It's disappointing not to be able to represent GB in Denmark but sometimes you've just got to think about the bigger picture," said the Sheffield swimmer who twice finished fourth in medley races at this summer's World Championships.

"I've had the problem since the Worlds and managing it has been difficult. We are now working very closely with my physios and support staff to make sure we can get back as soon as possible.

"The problem is a SLAP tear in my shoulder labrum with inflammation in the shoulder itself. [This is a tear to the ring of cartilage surrounding the shoulder's socket.]

"We are doing everything we can to make sure the recovery is as quick as possible and so we can be back for the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in Scotland."

Litchfield was the 2016 Short Course World Championships silver medallist in the 400 IM and was also fourth in the same event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

GB Team Leader Tim Jones added: "We will be working with Max to ensure he is in prime condition for the Commonwealths and the Glasgow 2018 European Championships."

Fellow Sky Scholar Freya Anderson, 16, will be part of the British team competing at the newly-opened Royal Arena in Copenhagen.