Brody Malone eyes spring 2024 return to gymnastics from leg surgeries
U.S. all-around gymnastics champion Brody Malone plans to return from three right leg surgeries to full routines around next April ahead of the Olympic Trials, which are usually in late June.
Malone on Wednesday confirmed details reported by Gymnastics Now -- that he suffered a tibial plateau fracture, a partially torn PCL and a fully torn LCL on a high bar dismount fall at a March 18 competition in Germany.
He is planning to get a third and hopefully final surgery in July, after which he could return to doing landings on some events around January.
Malone is likely to compete on no more than four of the six apparatuses at the Olympic Trials and, should he make the team, the Paris Games, because he does not expect to be ready for vault and floor exercise landings.
Malone won the U.S. all-around title in 2021 and 2022, succeeding the since-retired Sam Mikulak as the top American male gymnast.
At the 2022 Worlds, Malone won the high bar title and placed fourth in the all-around, matching the best all-around finish for an American man since Jonathan Horton‘s bronze in 2010.
After Malone, the top U.S. men’s all-arounders include Asher Hong, who was sixth at worlds, becoming at 18 the second-youngest man from any nation to finish that high since 2001. And Donnell Whittenburg, a 2016 Olympic alternate, who was second to Malone at last year’s nationals.
The U.S. men’s team must finish in the top 12 at this fall’s world championships to qualify a full team for next year’s Olympics (assuming the already qualified China, Japan and Great Britain are also in the top 12).
Last year, the U.S. finished fifth at worlds with Malone, who was the lone U.S. gymnast to compete on all six apparatuses in the team final.
The U.S. has finished between third and fifth at every Olympics and worlds since 2007 and has competed in the Olympic men’s team event at every Games since World War I, save the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.
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