Van Niekerk will undergo surgery to repair his knee and will rehabilitate for six months in Vail, Colorado, Qatar, and South Africa. The Olympic champion planned to compete for South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in April, but will be unable to race as a result of the injury.
"I was looking forward to competing in the 100m and the 200m events in Gold Coast, and participating at the national championships in March, so this is unfortunate timing," van Niekerk said in a statement on Tuesday.
Thanks to all for the kind wishes!Sadly I announce now that I'll be off the track for a while.Will be back stronger! https://t.co/grvzwspVEn— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) October 31, 2017
The 25-year-old sprinter burst to the top of the ranks in 2015 when he claimed his first IAAF World Championship 400m title. In 2016, van Niekerk broke the world record with a winning performance at the Rio Olympics. In August, van Niekerk continued the momentum with another world championship title in the 400m and a silver medal in the 200m sprint.