Lindsey Vonn to have surgery next week, vows to be ready for Olympics

February 6, 2013

Lindsey Vonn was taken by helicopter from the mountain to the hospital. (Luca Bruno / AP)

Lindsey Vonn has been released from a hospital in Austria and will return to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery on her right knee next week.

Vonn, who tore her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and suffered a lateral tibial plateau fracture on a frightening crash in a Super-G race Tuesday, said in a statement:

“First off I want to say thank you to the amazing medical staff that cared for me. I plan on returning to Vail as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries.

“I am also grateful to my fans for the the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive. I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in [the] Sochi [Winter Olympics].”

William Sterett, a U.S. Ski Team doctor, said Vonn would return to her Vail, Colo., home, and would have surgery in Colorado.

“She’ll be heading back to Vail and I will be doing surgery on her knee early next week,” Sterett told the Associated Press.

It is “always a possibility,” Sterett said, that multiple surgeries may be required, in reference to Vonn’s use of the plural word.

The fracture “adds a lot of unpredictability,” Dr. Leon Popovitz, an orthopedist who is a co-founder of the New York Bone and Joint Specialists, told the Post’s Barry Svrluga. However Sterett said that it is likely to be left to heal non-surgically. “It just needs to be non-weight on crutches,” he said.

Sterett described Vonn as “a little banged up, and sore everywhere” from the tumble she took when her knee gave way as she landed a jump on her Super-G run in Schladming.

“She’s in good spirits and upbeat,” Sterett said. “She’s intently focusing on the next step and the next step now is getting from point A to point B, with point B being next season. She’s determined and upbeat.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

More

Vonn’s defense of her downhill gold medal jeopardized by injury

Vonn faces reconstructive knee surgery

Vonn injures knee in crash

Maze set to challenge Vonn

Vonn hospitalized for intestinal pain

Vonn wants to compete against male skiers

Vonn pays off $1.7M in back taxes

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | February 6, 2013