IRVINE (California) (AFP) Australias triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice will have shoulder surgery and miss the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October, the emotional swimmer said Thursday. Rice, in California to compete in the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, said she could no longer swim through the pain caused by inflammation in her right shoulder and would have surgery, probably within a fortnight. Obviously its a big disappointment to me, said Rice, whose week at the PanPacs is also done. I have to think about the bigger picture, and thats definitely London 2012. The 22-year-old, who won Olympic gold in Beijing in the 200m and 400m inidvidual medleys and in the 4x200m freestyle relay, was the highest profile member of the 48-strong squad named by Australia in March at the conclusion of their national championships. But she has battled pain in her shoulder that has hindered her training. When her shoulder came up sore after she posted a personal best in the 50m butterfly here on Wednesday, she and coach Michael Bohl agreed surgery couldnt be put off any longer. As disappointing as it is, I think its the right decision, said Rice, who broke down in tears when talking to an Australian television crew but composed herself to continue discussing her plans. Its going to be really hard to watch the team go away and watch everyone race, Rice said. She said the surgery would be a clean-out rather than reconstruction. They have told me rehab is 12 weeks, I guess four weeks out of the water if the surgery goes well, she said. Despite the disappointment, Rice said it was a relief to have a plan in place, after months of coping with the injury on a day-by-day basis. But Australian head coach Leigh Nugent admitted her loss was a big blow to the team, but indicated it would be worth it if Rice is at full strength for the 2012 Olympics in London. Shes the spearhead of our womens team, if not the whole team, Nugent said. Well be taking a step backward to take a step forward in the future.