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Diver Alexandre Despatie expects to return to pool next week, staying positive about competing at Olympic Games

Jim Morris
Eh Game

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Alex Despatie is hoping to return to the diving board sooner than some might expect

Tuesday was a good day for diver Alexandre Despatie. He woke up feeling close to normal for the first time since bashing his head on a diving board last week and suffering a 10-centimetre cut.

"This morning was the first morning I woke up without a headache, which is a very positive sign,'' Despatie said in a brief audio clip released by Diving Canada.

Despatie confirmed he suffered "a small concussion'' but his recovery is "really going very well.'' The incident occurred June 12 while training for a competition in Madrid, Spain.

[Related: Despatie reveals he has a concussion after all]

Prior to the injury, the 27-year-old from Laval, Que., was considered one of Canada's medal contenders at this summer's Olympic Games in London. Despatie has won silver medals at the 2008 and 2004 Olympic Games.

Diving Canada officials say they expect Despatie to recover in time to compete at the Games but can't predict if the injury will affect his performance.

Despatie expects to resume training soon.

"I should be able to get back into the pool by next week,'' he said. "My next big test is going to be to start back training physically, see how I react to that.

"If things keep going the way they are the team is very optimistic. So am I. I'm keeping positive in all this.''

Despatie said he returned home on the weekend and saw a specialist. He also saw a plastic surgeon Tuesday morning to examine his wound "which is also going very well.''

The injury occurred when Despatie apparently lost his balance and hit his head just below the hairline while attempting an inward 3 1/2 tuck on the springboard. The dive requires a person to stand backwards at the end of the board, then spin forward with a high velocity.

The cut Despatie suffered was wide and deep.

Despatie has been forced to battle back from injury before. A few months before the Beijing Games he fractured his right foot but recovered to climb on the podium.

Despatie also promised to resume tweeting in the near future.

"I'll be back on Twitter soon,'' he said. "I haven't been able to get on my phone for medical reasons. I will be back soon.''

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