2nd February,Darren Andrews,Adelaide Australia, Newsvine.com-OLYMPIAN Anna Meares is out of this week's Australian track cycling titles at the Superdrome in Adelaide after doctors diagnosed an iron deficiency, following her return from competition in China.
Meares and Emily Rosemond were both laid low following their appearance at the World Cup meet in Beijing on Australia Day, with Rosemond subsequently found to have contracted Beijing flu.
After winning a silver medal and two bronze in Beijing, Meares has been prescribed a week's rest, meaning she will join leading male sprinter Shane Perkins on the sidelines.
Back trouble ruled Perkins out of playing any part in both the track cycling titles and his family's imminent move into a new house.
Having complained of pain in his hip and quad for almost a year, Perkins had MRI scans last week that revealed the source of the problem and left him with a tight schedule to be ready in time for the World Track Championships, to be held in Denmark in March.
Perkins laughed about the irony of his predicament, admitting he's glad the injury has granted him the chance to spend time with wife Kristine and son Aiden. He estimates he's spent only three months of the last 18 at home.
"We're actually moving into our new house tomorrow so this gives us a bit of time to do that. Obviously I won't be lifting anything, (I'm) getting the removalists to do that," Perkins told AAP.
"It's hard to pinpoint exactly what's done it, because it hasn't made me hit the floor with pain.
"It'd been going on for about a year, and just through having it managed through massage and physio, it hasn't got any worse.
"But now it is at the point where it has got worse and the body needs a bit of a break because I haven't stopped for about a year and a half now. I haven't had a month off.
"Last week I had a total break and my back has come up quite well. I am on some medication to help reduce the inflammation and that's working well, which is good."
Meares has been on hand to offer advice from her own well-publicised battles against back and neck injuries. Her recovery from a serious crash to claim silver at the Beijing Olympics provided both inspiration and practical tips for Perkins, who plans to race in the Revolution 6 meet in Melbourne later this month before heading to Denmark.
"She offered a bit of advice and some of the strategy she used to get better quickly and get back on the bike," said Perkins.
"It is bad (to have it) because I would've loved to be at the Australian titles, but maybe it's happened for a reason, maybe something's telling me you need to have a bit of a rest and then get back into it.
"I do feel confident mentally that I've got seven weeks to train and seven weeks to be in the best shape I've been and the best form. Then with my coach Sean Eadie, once we get there we'll worry about the tactics."
In the absence of Perkins and Meares, the Adelaide stage will be left to youngsters like Daniel Ellis, Jason Niblett and Megan Dunn, a six-time junior world champion now ready to test herself at the open level.