Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will have to wait further to make a return to competition after being out of action for almost a year due to an elbow injury after the Athletics Federation of India instructed him on Wednesday to “go slow” and withdraw from the meet.

Chopra, the Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, underwent an elbow surgery last year and was looking forward to his first competitive outing in Ranchi this week and even practiced at the venue.

However, AFI officials and the medical staff felt that he needed more time to recover from the injury and was asked to pull out of the tournament.

“Neeraj Chopra is not ready for competition yet,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told The Indian Express. “We had a discussion between the high performance director Volker Herrmann, biomechanics expert Dr. Klaus (Bartonietz), and deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair, and were of the view that it was a bit early for him to return to competition.”

Sumariwalla added: “We decided that we should find him a competition a few months later in Europe. But at this point, it is a little too risky to let him participate. We have told him not to participate and so we don’t expect him to participate.”

Chopra had to skip the World Championships in Doha last month as well.