Oda solid in return after long layoff


Nobunari Oda marked his return from injury by taking a commanding lead after the men’s short program at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany on Thursday.

Skating in his first competitive event since injuring his left knee at the Trophee Bompard in Paris last November, the 25-year-old Oda fell on his opening quad toeloop, but nailed a triple axel and a triple flip-triple toeloop after that to score 79.64 points, well clear of second-place Konstantin Menshov of Russia.

“Overall the flow of my performance was not bad. I didn’t feel any pain whatsoever in my knee,” said Oda. “There is not much time until the (Sochi) Olympics so I want to get better and better and show what I am capable of.”

Menshov scored 69.30 while American Keegan Messing was in third place with 68.56.