Jonny Brownlee’s hopes of regaining the world title have been hindered by an injury sustained in training.
The 25-year-old, who was world champion in 2012 – less than two months after winning bronze in the Olympics behind elder brother Alistair – expects to be out until September.
He has suffered a femoral stress fracture while at altitude training in St Moritz, Switzerland.
Brownlee won two legs of the ITU World Series in Auckland and the Gold Coast earlier this year and sat seventh in the rankings with four legs of the series still to come.
But the injury means he will not be able to compete in Hamburg later this month, Stockholm next month or even Edmonton in September.
To have any chance of winning the world title for a second time he would have to return for the grand final in Chicago from September 15-19, when double points are on offer.
Brownlee tweeted: “Back from St Moritz earlier than I hoped. Got a femoral stress fracture. Hope to be back for Chicago!”
Alistair Brownlee, the former two-time world champion, is currently fifth in the rankings, with Spain’s Javier Gomez leading the way.