“The Mutant” must overcome multiple injuries to make his return.
Coming off a third-place finish at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Nick Walker looked bound for a podium finish at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. Unfortunately for the gifted bodybuilder, his quest to capture the 2023 Mr. Olympia crown came to a premature and painful end before the contest started.
Forced to withdraw from the biggest competition of the season because of a torn hamstring, Walker recently revealed he suffered even more damage than initially thought. In a video posted on his Instagram page on Nov. 6, 2023, “The Mutant” delivered an update about his injury status and his mindset as he embarks on the road to recovery.
After congratulating Derek Lunsford for becoming the 18th Mr. Olympia and the first two-division champion, Walker divulged more details about his health status. Not only did Walker suffer a serious hamstring injury in the leadup to the Olympia, but he also hurt his calf.
“I think it was Friday, we went and got the MRI done and it came back that I do have a partial hamstring tear and a grade 1 strain, little tear in my calf as well,” Walker said. “Nothing crazy, nothing too significant that would require surgery, so that’s great news. I’m very happy, literally very happy about that.”
Luckily for Walker, a grade 1 strain includes mild damage to individual muscle fibers that typically causes a small loss of strength and motion. On the other hand, a grade 3 strain involves a complete rupture of a muscle or tendon and usually requires surgery to reattach the damaged structure. So, even though Walker’s Olympia dream turned into a bit of a nightmare, he avoided the worst-case scenario.
The 2021 Arnold Classic winner noted that his doctors were “very impressed” with how quickly his body started the healing process. Despite dealing with a major setback at the most inopportune time, Walker displayed maturity and humility when discussing his injury.
“I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and I can’t seem to find what reason this,” Walker explained. “This was supposed to be a really special moment. I’m just holding on to that saying, things happen for a reason, for greater things to happen, so that’s what we are going to do.”
[Related: 2023 Amateur Olympia Results]
Although Walker can’t crush a leg workout anytime soon, he won’t let that stop him from preparing to compete again in 2024. Focused on training his upper body and testing his limits as he recovers, he vowed to return stronger for next year’s Olympia.
However, whether Walker will have an opportunity to participate in the sport’s tentpole contest is far less certain than his conviction about making a comeback. Due to changes to the Olympia Qualifying System, only the top three finishers from the Mr. Olympia contest automatically qualify for next year’s event.
With Walker already ruling himself out of the 2024 Arnold Classic, he will have to win an IFBB Pro League show to secure a spot in the Men’s Open lineup for the 2024 Olympia. Then again, perhaps promoters will grant “The Mutant” his request to receive a special invite to share the stage with the newly crowned champion and the rest of the Olympia hopefuls.
Featured Image: nick_walker39 / Instagram