LEEDS gymnastics star Nile Wilson has vowed to return a stronger athlete following neck surgery which will see the Yorkshireman sidelined for the next six months.
The 23-year-old will miss this year's British Championships, Gymnastics World Cup and European Championships but Wilson opted to have the operation with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in mind.
Rio 2016 Olympics bronze medallist Wilson has been suffering from pain in his arm caused by a large disc bulge and underwent what has been described as a successful operation earlier this week.
Taking to his Instagram page, Wilson admitted he was looking at six months out but that he was confident of emerging an even stronger gymnast on the other side and with his prospects of excelling at Tokyo 2020 even stronger than before.
The gymnast will hope to return for the World Championships in Stuttgart at the end of the year.
"With the best team and people around me, we came to the decision to operate and resolve the issue," said Wilson.
"We felt this would give me the best chance and opportunity in achieving my dreams in gymnastics and competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"The rehabilitation is usually six months back to full impact and with the best science and medical support, I can ensure we will make this happen.
"I am going to be absolutely fine - come back a bigger, stronger athlete and as always a much better person."
Reflecting on his operation, Wilson said: "I'm feeling very, very positive. I'm recovering well from the surgery and focusing for the first two weeks on rest as I have a sore throat and a sore neck.
"Everything looks like it's gone well and for me it's all about remaining positive and then, when rested, focusing fully on my rehab going forward."
Wilson won a bronze medal on the high bar at the Olympics in Rio in 2016 and collected five medals at last year's Commonwealth Games, including gold in the individual all-around competition.