NASHVILLE – Sam Sheehan was forced to withdraw from the 2004 Visa U.S. Gymnastics Championships today due to an left rotator cuff strain.

Sheehan, who turned 18 on May 20, has been hampered by the rotator cuff since sustaining the injury during the International Friendship competition at the Women’s National Team Training Center on her birthday.

“It started to flare up while in Houston, and the strain caused some inflammation,” Sheehan’s coach Mary Lee Tracy said. “She got a cortisone injection before she left Houston, but she still does not have her full range of motion back yet. We want her to be 100 percent during this critical time. We have a couple weeks to get her some therapy and get her full range of motion back in her arm before Trials.”

Sheehan, a native of Villa Hills, Ky., most recently earned a bronze medal on the floor exercise at the 2002 World Championships, and took fourth all-around in the National Elite Podium Meet in New York on Feb. 27. She must now petition the Women’s International Elite Committee for a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.