PAULA RADCLIFFE will reassess her racing schedule during her enforced break after revealing she will miss this month's Flora London Marathon because of a foot injury.
Radcliffe, who returned early from her training base in America 10 days ago for expert treatment, left it to the last possible moment before making her decision.
The world marathon record holder has been troubled by the same problem which forced her out of last month's Commonwealth Games 10,000m.
She came came back from Albuqerque, New Mexico, to receive a week's treatment from top German surgeon Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt.
It is understood the injury - a knock-on effect after she bruised the underside of a toe on a training run - will not entail a long absence.
Bone bruising can take months to settle, and rest may not necessarily help it clear up any faster.
With the London Marathon only 20 days away and boasting a world-class field, Radcliffe nonetheless had to accept she would not be in the right shape to chase a fourth title.
The 32-year-old said: "I have worked really hard over the last few months, so it is gutting now not to be able to take part.
"The Flora London Marathon is something that is extremely important to me, and I have done everything possible to resolve the problem.
"I have to accept that it needs a short period of total rest and I also have to focus on moving on from this and my future.
Radcliffe, who produced a world-record time of two hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds when she won in 2003, makes no secret of the fact the London race is her favourite.
It seems most likely, however, she will have to wait until August before she is ready to race again - in defence of her European Championship 10,000m title.