Wayde van Niekerk steps up comeback plans

Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa celebrates after winning the men's 400 metres final during day five of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Wayde van Niekerk has stepped up his training programme as he looks to return from a knee injury which has ruled him out of action for a year.

The 400m world and Olympic champion tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus cartilage when he slipped and fell during a celebrity touch rugby game in Cape Town on October 7.

He missed the Commonwealth Games in Australia as a result, but has now returned to the track for light training as he looks to make a comeback in 2019.

"He is not going full out at the moment, but he is working on the track twice a week," his coach, Ans Botha, is quoted by TimesLIVE. "This is part of his rehabilitation programme and hopefully he will get over it without any problems.

"He is flying to Doha again next week for more tests and we will probably know by the end of November or beginning of December how far he is from full recovery, and if he is ready to move to the next step of his recovery programme."

Van Niekerk shot to fame when he broke Michael Johnson's 18-year-old 400m world record at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He is also the only man in history to run sub-10 in the 100m‚ sub-20 in the 200m‚ sub-31 in the 300m and sub-44 in the 400m.