Katarina Johnson-Thompson has labelled her injury nightmare over the past few months as a "blessing in disguise."
The heptathlete, who started the year so promisingly when she claimed long jump silver at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, had the second half of her season ravaged by a series of injuries.
The 21-year-old was due to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow when she was told by doctors she risked long-term damage to her foot as a result of a stress reaction, if she competed.
With that advice, Johnson-Thompson pulled out of the Games, where she had been favourite to take gold, particularly after her world-leading, personal best heptathlon score at the prestigious multi-event competition in Gotzis.
After Glasgow, where Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton took the title, Johnson-Thompson remained at risk of more serious foot damage, and so was also forced to pull out of the European Championships in Zurich, at which she was due to compete in the long jump.
Come back stronger
Despite the frustrating season, Johnson-Thompson believes she will come back even stronger next season.
"Everything's fine, it's been okay since day two (of the injury), I haven't felt anything so I don't feel like an injured athlete, which is annoying," she told Athletics Weekly.
"It was just the worst time possible – if it was the start of the year I could have recovered from it and just plodded on with my season, but it was over two major championships which is the annoying thing.
Back on track
"I think it will help me next to year to train harder and come back with a vengeance. I think everything was going too well in a sense and when I'm back on the track, it'll help me to grasp every opportunity."
The Liverpudlian also revealed how she couldn't watch the Games she missed through injury: "It was very hard for me to watch an event you feel you're at your peak at and feel you're in really good shape. It's very hard to sit on the couch and watch it, so I kept busy."
Johnson-Thompson's next big event will probably be the European's in March. With a good winter under her belt, she will hope to banish the frustration of 2014.
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