By Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter
4:01 PM EST, January 18, 2013
What has seemed like a foregone conclusion for two months now is official: Evan Lysacek will not compete at next week's U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha because he still needs more training after recovering from surgery in mid-November to repair a sports hernia.
The hernia was the second setback in Lysacek’s comeback plans for this season.
Lysacek, who has not competed since winning the 2010 Olympic gold medal, withdrew from Skate America in late October with a groin injury.
“It’s disappointing because health-wise I’m fine (now),” Lysacek said in a statement. “Due to the long layoff from the surgery, I still need about three more weeks to get back into competition form.
“The good news is I am finally healthy, back to a full training schedule and already working hard to be ready for next season to defend my Olympic title at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.”
The 27-year-old Lysacek, a two-time U.S. champion and 2009 world champion, first had announced his intention to return for the 2011-12 season. Those plans fell through because of contractual issues with U.S. Figure Skating that eventually were ironed out last summer.
As a reigning Olympic medalist, Lysacek gets a bye into the 2014 U.S. Championships in Boston, where the Olympic team will be selected.
Johnny Weir, a three-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, had also begun a comeback this year but ended his season after aggravating a knee injury at the Grand Prix event in Russia.