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Despite Back Injury, Bull Braces for 'Next Journey'
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Although Australian gymnast Jayden Bull is disappointed that a back injury will keep him out of the upcoming Commonwealth Games, he told IG he intends to use his recovery period to heal and refocus.

Jayden Bull (Australia)

"This was a really tough blow to take following approximately 12 months of rehab for other injuries, and missing out on other opportunities in the past because of injuries, as well," Bull said. "But it's still quite fresh, and once my mind has cleared a bit more, it'll make it easier to make a judgment about where I'm at and mentally prepare for the next journey."

Bull, who finished second on floor exercise and fifth on high bar at the Australian Championships in late May, was diagnosed with two stress fractures on his L4 vertebra at a Commonwealth Games team training camp in Canberra following the championships.

"I can't pinpoint a particular time when it may have happened, but rather something that’s gotten worse over time," Bull said of the injury. "I was definitely its sorest at nationals, though. I've been given a time period of eight weeks with no extension or loading of my back, so no running, jumping or swinging."

The 24-year-old Bull said his injury will impact his preparations for the world championships in October in Nanning, but he plans to use his hiatus wisely.

"It affects my worlds chances pretty substantially since the only things I'll be doing for about eight weeks are strength, rehab and low-impact fitness to try and stay in shape," Bull said. "So I guess it gives me a good chance to get stronger in areas I want to improve and use the time to my advantage."

Despite his injury and injuries to other teammate, Bull said he is optimistic that defending-champion Australia can challenge for the team title in Glasgow, where the event begins July 23.

Australia placed first, ahead of silver medalist England and bronze medalist Canada, at the 2010 Games in Delhi. England and the other U.K. nations compete as individual countries at Commonwealth Games.

"This year’s Games prove to be especially tough," Bull told IG. "The Brits are looking especially good coming off the Olympics and Euros success. The Canadians are a super experienced and talented team. The Aussies have been hit by injuries pretty hard especially, with Luke Wiwatowski, one of our best all-rounders, ruled out, as well. But I think being somewhat the underdogs will work to our advantage, and our rather inexperienced team can hopefully produce some great performances."

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