Oleg Verniaiev underwent ankle surgery at a private hospital in Israel this week. Verniaiev injured his left ankle having an unfortunate landing on vault at Artur Gander Memorial in November. During a live stream on Instagram, Verniaiev said that the injury resulted in cartilage growth that has been causing pain ever since and prevented him from training any leg events. He was eventually told that surgery was the only option.
Vernaieiv chose to undergo surgery in Israel because he was promised shorter recovery time than in Ukraine and because he would have access to the physical therapist that works with the Israeli gymnastics team. Verniaiev has been working with that therapist for a few years now. According to the gymnast, he is currently paying for the surgery out of pocket. However, he felt like having surgery abroad was the only option if he wanted to recover in time for Worlds and to help the team to qualify to Tokyo.
Verniaiev will stay in Israel for two weeks and will start his physical therapy there. He said that the initial recovery is expected to take at least a month, so he will likely miss the European Championships in April and will be unable to defend his AA title.