Lindsey Vonn’s doctor said he’s optimistic the Olympic downhill skiing champion will make a full recovery after undergoing surgery to repair two knee ligaments and a fractured bone in her right leg.
Vonn, a 28-year-old American, was injured in a Feb. 5 crash at the World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria. She tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her knee and fractured a bone just below the joint.
Vonn had surgery yesterday at Vail Valley Surgery Center in her hometown of Vail, Colorado, a procedure that came exactly one year before the women’s super-combined at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“Modern surgical techniques combined with aggressive rehabilitation will help Lindsey make a full recovery,” U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team head physician Bill Sterett said in a statement. “She will do everything in her power to return as quickly as possible to competitive skiing.”
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association said knee injuries such as Vonn’s aren’t uncommon in ski racing and noted that American Picabo Street won an Olympic gold medal in 1998 at Nagano, Japan, the season after having reconstructive surgery.
Vonn said last week that her goal will be returning to compete at the 2014 Winter Games. The women’s downhill event, which Vonn won at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2014.
Vonn is the most successful alpine skier of her generation, with four overall World Cup championships and two Olympic medals. She’s three World Cup victories shy of tying the women’s record of 62 held by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell.
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