Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) - Australia's Cate Campbell said she's willing to sacrifice her world sprint freestyle title in order to be fit for the 2016 Olympics after announcing a shoulder operation to end months of chronic pain.
The world, Commonwealth Games and newly-crowned Pan Pacific 100m freestyle champion said next year's world championships in Russia were "not a major drama" compared to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics a year later.
"I'm actually getting shoulder surgery next week," she told reporters, after winning the 50m freestyle gold and sealing Australia's 4x100m medley gold win over Olympic champions the United States late Sunday.
Campbell, 22, was the dominant women's sprinter at the Pan Pacs, which finished on the Gold Coast Sunday, winning the 50m and 100m freestyle events and helping Australia win the 4x100m freestyle and medley relays.
Campbell, who won the 100m freestyle world title in Barcelona last year, said the surgery would remove a bone spur that was pinching a nerve on her right shoulder, ensuring she would miss the rest of the year and perhaps beyond.
She said she was prepared to miss defending her 100m freestyle title at next year's world championships in Kazan, Russia if it meant she was fully fit by the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"If the Olympics were next year I'd hold off, definitely, but I can't struggle through another two years with a bad shoulder," she said.
"If I'm not back to full capacity by next year it's not a major drama, Rio is really the end goal."
Campbell revealed she had been in "chronic pain" for months.
"I've been keeping it under wraps because I'm not one to complain or make excuses but now that I'm finished (the season) you probably won't be seeing me for the rest of the year," she said.
"It hasn't hugely affected my training but it's something I need to fix two years out from Rio.
"It is getting worse. I'm having troubles with necks and backs and those sorts of things. It needed to be done and now is the time to do it."