Brian Orser "confident" injured Yuzuru Hanyu will be at 2019 World Championships
Injured two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is back on the ice and working towards full fitness.
That's the latest update from his coach Brian Orser, who spoke to the Olympic Channel at the European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
Orser confirmed the Japanese skater has his sights set on making it to the World Championships on home ice in March.
"I’m very confident that he’ll be ready, of course. He is a good strong competitor and the Worlds are in Japan, so he wants to be on top form."
—Brian Orser to Olympic Channel
Hanyu picked up an ankle injury in practice at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix in Moscow in November.
Against doctors' advice, he skated with the injury, winning the event.
But that came with a cost, as the 24-year-old was eventually ruled out of the ISU Grand Prix Final and Japanese national championships in December.
And because of that, Orser told the Olympic Channel, he's sure Hanyu is managing his recovery the right way.
"Like last year, with a similar injury, he was very smart about his recovery and listening to the physicians and doing the proper physiotherapy. So he is familiar with the situation."
"He's been very smart, as he was last year," Orser added.
Home world championships
This year's World Championships take place in Saitama, Japan, in March.
It's a city Hanyu will have fond memories of, as he won his first world title there the last time the championships were held in Japan, in 2014.
"The focus is going to be the World Championships and he will do what he needs to be prepared, he'll be very smart about the training," Orser said.
Orser added: "It takes time, but he knows his body. And in this situation, I can listen to him about how much we can push. He's a very wise athlete.
"I have all the confidence that he’ll be fully recovered for the World Championships."