Lindsey Vonn’s crash during a training run and subsequent ligament tear in her surgically repaired right knee will prevent her from making her planned return to competition next week, her publicist said Friday.
Vonn, who suffered a variety of injuries in Tuesday’s crash at Copper Mountain, Colo., will withdraw from the World Cup races at Beaver Creek, Colo., where she was likely to compete in at least Friday’s downhill and Saturday’s super-G.
“While her rehab is progressing, she is not at a point where she will be able to ski next week and is unfortunately withdrawing from the race at Beaver Creek,” Vonn’s publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement. “She will continue to do therapy with an eye at racing in Lake Louise.”
Though Kay offered no further timeline, the possibility that Vonn would race in Lake Louise in Canada one week later could mean that she won’t miss significant training time prior to February’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Vonn is the defending Olympic downhill champion, and since the first days after she tore both her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a Feb. 5 crash during a race, she has vowed to compete in the Winter Games.
William Sterett, the orthopedist who serves as the U.S. Ski Team’s doctor, has been working with Vonn since the crash. Sterett said Friday that Vonn — who suffered a partial tear of her ACL in Tuesday’s accident — is overcoming some of the injuries already.
“Lindsey is recovering very quickly from abrasions to her face and contusions to her shoulder blade,” Sterett said in a statement. “Beyond that, she has a stable knee with an MRI finding of a partial tear of her ACL graft. With therapy, she is progressing well while not losing any of the strength she worked so hard to achieve.”
Beaver Creek marks the only domestic stop on the World Cup tour, and the races annually serve as a homecoming for Vonn, who lives in nearby Vail. But she has enjoyed more success in Lake Louise, which annually hosts two downhill races and a super-G, alpine skiing’s second-fastest discipline. Last year, she swept all three races for the second straight season, and has 14 victories overall at the picturesque resort in the Canadian province of Alberta.
The next stop on the World Cup tour is Dec. 14-15 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Vonn could compete in a super-G and giant slalom.