LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — U.S. doubles luger Christian Niccum is out indefinitely after tearing an Achilles tendon while playing basketball.
The 34-year-old Niccum, who suffered the injury to his left heel near his Woodinville, Wash. home, will undergo surgery on Wednesday. A return date is unknown, pending results of the surgery.
The two-time Olympian had been recovering from back surgery last April and had just completed 10 days of on-ice training in Park City, Utah, with doubles partner Jayson Terdiman, of Berwick.
They were set to return to World Cup action at Winterberg, Germany in mid-January. The earliest possible date they could return is the last World Cup race of the season at the Sochi Test Event at the end of February.
Niccum and Terdiman finished seventh in the World Cup last season.
Terdiman's faced a couple of bad breaks in pursuit of his goal of reaching the Olympics.
The 2008 U.S. doubles champion while teamed with Chris Mazdzer, he lost his partner to the singles competition. Mazdzer was 13th at the 2010 Olympics in singles luge.
After the Vancouver Games, Niccum's doubles partner, Dan Joye, retired. The veteran teamed with the younger Terdiman. The age difference between them is 11 years.
They have been the United States' top doubles team since being paired.