Welsh triathlete Non Stanford expects to miss the start of the 2020 season due to knee surgery.
The ex-world champion has had damaged cartilage removed.
The 30-year-old said in an Instagram post: “It’s going to take a pretty long recovery period as regrowing cartilage is no mean feat, but hopefully I’ll be back in action in time for most of the WTS season.
“After struggling with knee pain for the last few races of the season, which didn’t settle with three weeks of rest, I had an MRI [scan] whilst still in Australia.
“It showed some cartilage had detached in my kneecap and was floating around, along with a ruptured Baker’s cyst. Not ideal apparently.
“Within a couple of days I was flying back to London to see a specialist surgeon.”
Stanford came fourth in the Rio 2016 Olympics and the athlete was ranked seventh in the 2019 World Series.