Morgenstern cleared by docs after ski fall

Austrian ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern is recovering from skull and lung injuries and could still compete at Sochi 2014.

    Morgenstern crashed on Friday while training for a World Cup event [Getty Images]
    Morgenstern crashed on Friday while training for a World Cup event [Getty Images]

    Austrian ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern is recovering well from skull and lung injuries and could still compete at next month's Sochi Olympics.

    Doctors at the Salzburg emergency hospital where Morgenstern is being treated said on Monday they have given the athlete 'the definite all-clear'.

    "His recovery process has been very satisfying so far,'' head of clinic Josef Obrist said. "The bleeding and the contusion have completely diminished. There was a risk of brain swelling but that hasn't occurred.''

    The 27-year-old Morgenstern, a three-time Olympic champion, crashed on Friday while training for a World Cup event in Tauplitz on one of the five largest ski flying hills in the world.

    He lost balance in the air and landed on his back and head.

    He briefly lost consciousness but was responsive again shortly afterward.

    Still hopeful

    Morgenstern will use the next two weeks for further recovery and might still be ready in time for the Olympics.

    "Thomas will need at least 14 days for regeneration and rehabilition,'' team doctor Jurgen Barthofer said. "In that period he definitely won't jump. After that, we'll have to see what's possible.''

    Morgenstern posted a message on his Facebook page on Monday but did not mention his thoughts on a comeback or the Olympics.

    "I'm so grateful for my recovery,'' Morgenstern wrote. "And I'm speechless about the many good wishes here. I try to read as many as possible of them, what gives me strength. Thank you so much to my family, the medical team and to everybody, who stands by my side!''

    Austria ski jump head coach Alexander Pointner said he was going to leave a spot for Morgenstern in his Olympic team 'open for as long as possible'.

    The individual competition on the normal hill in Sochi is scheduled for February 8, with the large hill on February 15 and the team event on February 17.

    SOURCE: AP


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