Lindsey Vonn partially tore one of the reconstructed ligaments in her surgically repaired right knee in a training crash that at the very least puts her preparation for the Sochi Olympics on hold.
What is less clear at the moment: When the four-time overall World Cup champion and 2010 Vancouver downhill gold medalist might be able to compete and how her injuries might affect her Olympic hopes.
The U.S. Ski Team and Vonn’s personal publicist, Lewis Kay, issued nearly identical statements Wednesday detailing her injuries from her fall at Copper Mountain, Colo., a day earlier: a mild strain to her right knee, the same one Vonn hurt in a high-speed crash at the world championships in February; “minor facial abrasions”; a bruised shoulder blade.
Vonn has not competed since needing surgery to fix her ACL and MCL after the crash in Austria nine months ago; the ACL was re-injured Tuesday.
Kay said that after Vonn rests for a few days, she “then will pursue aggressive physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete after seeing how she responds to the treatment.”
Vonn has won 59 World Cup races, leaving her only three shy of Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62.
The 29-year-old American had been aiming to return to World Cup competition next week in Beaver Creek, Colo.
The Sochi Games are in February.
Vonn recently said her super-G is “some of the best super-G I’ve ever skied, but my downhill still needs a little more time.”
She’s been taking practice runs in Copper Mountain and posted on her Twitter account Monday: “Catching some air today in Downhill training.”
She also recently said that she’s reluctantly been wearing a protective knee brace under doctor’s orders.
“It’s in my best interest to play it safe,” Vonn said. “I compromised and said that as long as I don’t have to wear (the brace) for the Olympics, I’ll be fine.”
– By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer
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