LOS ANGELES: Reigning Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn’s return to racing is on hold after a training crash caused new damage to her surgically repaired right knee.
“Lindsey sustained a mild strain to her right knee, partial tear to her right ACL [anterior cruciate ligament], minor facial abrasions and scapular contusions from her fall,” Vonn’s publicist Lewis Kay said Wednesday.
“She needs to rest for a few days and then will pursue physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete after seeing how she responds to the treatment.”
Vonn, also a four-time overall World Cup champion and two-time World Champion, had spent the past few months rehabilitating her surgically repaired right knee in anticipation of a return to competition next Friday in the women’s alpine World Cup stop at Beaver Creek, Colorado.
But after her training crash at Copper Mountain, it’s not clear when she will be able to launch a season that will be highlighted by February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
After her fall on Tuesday, Vonn was taken off the mountain by sled and was examined by orthopedic surgeon Bill Sterett in Vail, Colorado.
Sterett operated on Vonn in February after the American tore the ACL and the medial collateral ligament in her right knee in a frightening crash at the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Schladming, Austria.
Vonn was hoping to make a full recovery similar to that of former US speed queen Picabo Street, who came back the season after reconstructive surgery to win an Olympic gold medal in 1998 at Nagano, Japan.
Vonn, 29, resumed skiing in August. She skipped the giant slalom season opener in Austria for more time to train and has said her main focus this season was the Olympics and that her knee was 100 percent healthy with no pain or swelling.
She was spotted Sunday with 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods on the sidelines of the NFL’s marquee matchup between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Vonn and Woods confirmed in March that they are dating.