Injury-prone Dean Macey is determined to win a race against the clock and fight off an injury problem before the decathlon gets underway at the European Championships on Thursday.

Macey broke down in tears at a press conference in Gothen-burg yesterday, revealing he had picked up a groin niggle which might ruin his chances of adding another major medal to the Commonwealth gold he won in March.

But the 28-year-old is adamant he will try everything possible to ensure he is healthy enough to embark on another testing ten-event campaign.

"The medical team are working to get me on the track - pain is no problem for me," Macey said, before tearfully holding his head in his hands.

"This has kicked me in the butt again and ruined all of the hard work I have done in the last few months.

"My running has been great as usual and my technical events have been very good.

"Since 2004 I've never been in such good shape, until I picked up the niggle in my groin just before coming here. It came out of the blue."

A fully-fit Macey would be among the favourites to win gold, along with the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle, and he insisted: "If I get out there I'll be dangerous. I didn't fly here just for the trip.

"I'm a little bit down at the moment but I know unlike Melbourne, I cannot hold anything back. I've got to be like an animal because I'll be competing against some of the world's best decathletes."

Of his Czech rival Sebrle, he added: "I've seen him down the training track and I feel I could give him a run for his money this time."

There was better news on the injury front from fellow Commonwealth champion Kelly Sotherton, who revealed she is ready to chase a heptathlon medal on the championship's opening day.

Sotherton last week had a recurrence of the back injury she picked up throwing the javelin on her way to gold in Melbourne, which has restricted her from contesting the event since then.

"I wouldn't be on the start line if I didn't think I would be in contention," said Sotherton, who faces Carolina Kluft and Eunice Barber, the top two finishers at last August's World Championships.

Tim Benjamin, in the 400 metres, remains Britain's best hope of a gold medal, although for the first time in memory there is not a genuine British pre-championships favourite.

Benjamin, after an injury-wrecked year, is determined to take home his first senior international title.

"I'm here injury-free and looking forward to it. I love the buzz and I love champion-ships," said Benjamin, Europe's number one performer last year.