Phillips in race against time to be fit for Olympic BMX
TWO-TIMES world BMX silver medallist Liam Phillips admits it's a race against time to be fit to take his place on the start line at London 2012.
RACE AGAINST TIME: BMX rider Liam Phillips is prepared to take risks to be fit in time for London 2012
The 23-year-old recently had surgery on a broken collarbone and is yet to get back on his bike after the Games draw nearer.
Phillips knows he can't afford to rest on his laurels as he closes in on his target, and is prepared to take the necessary risks to reach the start line.
"There's definitely an element of Olympics or bust," said Phillips, who would be taking part in his second Games.
"I certainly can't have the next few weeks as a period where I can take my foot off the gas and get there - that's not an option.
"I have to train with the intensity needed to go into the Olympics and perform. In doing that, the risk of injury and crashing is high, so I'm not under any illusions that I know if I crash again between now and the Olympics, that will be it for me.
"The chances of the collarbone holding up are slim, but you don't spend year after year training towards an Olympics and then throw it away in the last few weeks.
"In my mind, everything is good towards then. There will be risks taken, but as long as they are calculated, that's all I can ask."
Phillips, who has broken his collarbone before, is experienced in rehabilitation, but is aware that the price of failing to recover is bigger than it has been before.
He is training hard to replicate what his normal preparation would be and is almost enjoying the added pressure of an Olympics deadline.
He said: "This is the fourth surgery I've had on the right shoulder.
"I've broken my collarbone before, but again, I was a junior and didn't have a deadline and obviously we're up against it now.
"I'm making sure that I'm doing everything in training to get myself in the best shape possible, but also that everybody else is doing over and above what is expected to make sure I'm back on the bike as fast as possible.
"We've looked at the training that I would have done in that period and tried to make the same gains in a different fashion.
"It's nothing I haven't experienced before - I haven't had an injury-free season for a long time, so coming off the back off surgery is nothing new. I guess the only difference is that here you have a deadline and that's never been the case before.
"You try and get back onto track as soon as possible, but if it doesn't happen, then you miss a competition and look forward to the next one.
"But this is very different - there's no way that date is moving for anybody. It's quite nice to have that deadline and work towards something, but I'm already missing my bike and want to get back on the track."
© Sportsbeat 2012