Jan 18 (Reuters) – Olympic champion Evan Lysacek has withdrawn from next week’s U.S. figure skating championships as he is still not fit enough to compete following surgery.

“It’s disappointing because health-wise I’m fine,” Lysacek said in a statement released by U.S. Figure Skating on Friday. “Due to the long layoff from the surgery I still need about three more weeks to get back into competition form.

“The good news is I am finally healthy, back to a full training schedule and already working hard to be ready for next season to defend my Olympic title at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi,” added the 2009 world champion.

The 27-year-old had been expected to resume a full competition schedule this season after taking a two-year break following his gold-medal winning performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

But injuries followed by surgery in November to repair a sports hernia have kept him out. He has been training in southern California with Frank Carroll and Karen Kwan-Oppegard.

The U.S. championships will be held Sunday through Jan. 27 in Omaha, Nebraska.