By Nick Hope
BBC Olympic sports reporter
British Olympic bronze medallist Laura Deas will miss this weekend’s season-opening World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia because of concussion.
The 30-year-old has claimed two gold and two silver medals in second-tier competitions so far this season.
However, she crashed during a training run in Latvia last week.
“We made the call for Laura to focus on getting ready for race two instead of rushing back,” said British Skeleton head of performance Danny Holdcroft.
He expects Deas to return for the next World Cup on 14 December in Winterberg, Germany.
“Athlete welfare always comes first,” added Holdcroft. “Laura is recovering well but we are following our medical guidance and protocol and it was going to be a tight call for her to be ready for this weekend.”
Wrexham-born Deas was the most experienced slider in the British team following the retirement of double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold, and the decision by Olympic bronze medallist Dom Parsons to take a year away from the sport while he completes his PhD.
In their absence, the British line-up in Sigulda will feature Pyeongchang Olympian Jerry Rice and four other sliders who have claimed 10 second-tier medals between them before the new World Cup season.
And Holdcroft said Jack Thomas, Kim Murray, Maddy Smith and Marcus Wyatt are “chomping at the bit”.
“They can’t wait to get going again this weekend because they’ve been immensely impressive in their ICC and European Cup races and now they want to test themselves against the world’s best,” he said.
Sigulda World Cup skeleton schedule
Saturday, 8 December (07:30 GMT)
Men’s Skeleton: Jerry Rice, Jack Thomas, Marcus Wyatt
Sunday, 9 December (07:30 GMT)
Women’s Skeleton: Kim Murray, Maddy Smith