By Glen Andrews, World-Track

LONDON — Jana Pittman-Rawlinson’s hunt to defend her 400metres hurdles title at the World Championships in Berlin next month took a step backward, after she suffered a bulging disc in her back, it was reported on Thursday.

pittmanrawlinsonThe Australian who recently returned to competition, following a one year layoff because of a toe injury will now side-step this weekend’s London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace to undergo treatment.

“We’ll see what happens in the next few days,” Pittman-Rawlinson’s coach Craig Hilliard told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

“If she’s back running pain-free and it does settle down then we’ll look at forging ahead.

“But if it’s still hanging around then time is starting to impinge. She’s missed quite a bit of racing now.

“This year was always going to be a tough year in terms of getting back.

“It was always going to be a rush and we knew that”

Pittman-Rawlinson, who won her first race back and then finished second in the next, missed the Olympic Games in Beijing last summer with Jamaican Melaine Walker, one of the strong candidates for the gold in Berlin winning the crown.

Even without the Australian’s presence, the women’s 400m hurdles in London should still be exciting with Walker and American world leader Lashinda Demus set for a strong battle.

The race will go off on Saturday.

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