Laura Muir says it was touch and go whether she would even be fit to run before becoming only the second Scot to win an individual medal at a World Athletics Championships.
The 29-year-old’s bronze in the 1500m in Oregon follows Liz McColgan’s 10,000m gold in Japan 31 years ago.
But Muir was on crutches in February after a stress reaction to the femur in her right leg.
“It was the most significant injury I’ve ever had,” she said.
“For two months, I couldn’t run. That was very, very frustrating, especially as I was going so well in January.”
Muir’s first outdoor world medal follows an Olympic silver last summer, with Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon again taking gold and the two rivals this time being split by Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.
“With the champs being almost a month earlier than normal as well, it meant I had about three months less time to prepare than normal – so not ideal,” Muir said.
“I just knew I had to have a lot of confidence in myself and my team that we would be able to get back. We did it and we got that medal.
“We were lucky we caught it early. We knew something wasn’t right. We got some advanced imaging. We found out what it was quite quickly. Had it been a fracture, it would have been me out for a long, long time.”
Muir and her two rivals broke away from the rest of the field with a lap to go before the Scot finished in a season’s best of three minutes 55.28 seconds.
“I’ve been fourth, fifth twice and sixth at the World Championships, I was so scared being third and someone was going to pass me,” she said. “That’s what happened in London 2017 – I was second and came fourth. I was like ‘this isn’t happening again’.”
Apart from Muir and McColgan, all the Scots to have won a medal at world championships have been in relays – Jamie Bowie, Eilidh Child, Zoey Clark, Eilidh Doyle, Kirsten McAslan, Lee McConnell and Dougie Walker.
Having won Britain’s first medal of the latest championships, Muir now turns her attention to competing for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as she aims to complete her collection.
World Athletics Championships: Muir relishes 1500m bronze medal