Usain Bolt Will Not Play in Manchester United Legends Match After Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Usain Bolt makes a farewell lap of the track during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Usain Bolt was forced to withdraw from a Manchester United charity match at Old Trafford next month due to a hamstring injury suffered in his final career race Saturday at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

On Thursday, BBC Sport reported the Jamaican sprinter won't be able to compete in the legends fixture against Barcelona after further evaluation of the ailment "showed the damage to be worse than anticipated."

Bolt collapsed on the London Stadium track shortly after taking the baton to run the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay, which was won by Great Britain, last weekend. He eventually returned to his feet to walk the final meters to the finish line before entering retirement.

Jack de Menezes of The Independent passed along comments from the eight-time Olympic gold medalist, who said an extended wait for the start of the race made it difficult to stay loose.

"It was unusual. I knew I had to stay warm," Bolt said. "We got into second call room to stride out which was fine. But we were taken to the area behind the boarding to be ready to run, but we waited there for 10-15 minutes.

"Why bring us out if we are going to stand there? They decided to do medal ceremony. What am I going to do? We are athletes who are going to follow the rules."

Manchester United announced Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes were set to headline the Sept. 2 friendly legends game against Gaizka Mendieta, Eric Abidal and the rest of the Barcelona side. Previous matches with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich brought in more than £1.8 million for the Manchester United Foundation.

Bolt, who possesses the blistering pace of a dynamic winger and has long supported United, would have brought even more star power to the already high-profile event.

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