Vonn's Sochi dreams in doubt

Downhill ski champion unsure of winter Olympic chances after latest knee injury sets back Sochi preparations.

    Vonn's Sochi dreams in doubt
    Vonn needed surgery on ruptured knee ligaments after a horror crash in February’s World Ski Championships [AFP]

    Lindsey Vonn remains unsure just what effect her latest knee injury will have on her Sochi Olympic hopes.

    Asked in an interview on NBC's "Today'' show Wednesday whether she can put the kind of pressure on the knee she will need to train and make it to Sochi in February, Vonn replied: "To be honest, I don't know.''

    The reigning Olympic downhill champion crashed during a downhill training run in Copper Mountain last week and partially tore a reconstructed ligament in her right knee.

    Vonn said her immediate plan is to resume training in Vail to test out the knee. She elected to skip the races this weekend in nearby Beaver Creek to give her knee more time to rest.

    The 29-year-old Vonn hasn't ruled out a possible return to competition in Lake Louise, Alberta, on December 6.

    "If things go well, you know, I'll be racing next week,'' Vonn said.

    "If they don't, then I'm going to have to reassess and kind of see where I stand and if I can make a comeback for this season.''

    Horror crash

    The four-time overall World Cup champion tore ligaments in her right knee in a high-speed accident at the world championships in February. She's been well ahead of schedule in her return, but doesn't believe she was pushing too hard to make it back to the slopes.

    "I was skiing really fast. I was skiing confident. I was very strong,'' Vonn said.

    "It just was unfortunately a fluke accident. That's the risk you take when you're going 80, 90 mph down a mountain. That's just part of the job. But I picked myself back up and I'm trying as hard as I can to keep going.

    "I'm just fingers-crossed that I can be racing next week, because I've worked so hard all summer to get back to this point and I just want to get back in the starting gate.''

    In her crash last week, Vonn said she caught an edge, flipped over her skis and "went head-first into the fence.'' She said the knee wasn't the cause of the spill.

    "The fall caused my knee to give out,'' Vonn said.

    "If I hadn't have had my brace on, I definitely would not have had anything left in my knee. It was one of those fluky things that sometimes happen.

    "Unfortunately, it was really bad timing for me. I'm still confident. I still feel like I have a lot left to achieve this season. ... I still have time before Sochi.''

    SOURCE: AP


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