Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn says she’s almost all the way back from injury

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Lindsey Vonn may have missed the first race of the season, but the Olympic downhill champion said she feels no trepidation about her surgically repaired right knee and can’t even tell which knee is injured anymore.

“I work hard, that’s what I do,” Vonn told Matt Lauer on TODAY on Monday morning. “I fall. I get back up. It’s who I am. Obviously, this is the biggest setback I’ve ever had, but I’m skiing really well. I’ve only been on snow for a few days, but I’m already almost right back where I was. So things are looking up.”

Vonn hasn’t competed since tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and breaking her tibia in a crash at the World Championships super-G in Schladming, Austria, on Feb. 5. She’s expected to return for races in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Thanksgiving weekend.

The 29-year-old said retirement wasn’t an option.

“I don’t want that to be the final moment of my career,” Vonn said. “Obviously, I could have retired, and I have a lot to be proud of. There’s a lot more I want to do. Sochi is a huge goal of mine. I had plenty of motivation. I wasn’t going to just sit there and accept what I had already done.”

Video: Vonn films first crash since return to skiing

One of the people who helped her get through rehabilitation was her boyfriend, Tiger Woods. Vonn pointed out one of Woods’ attributes that has really helped her.

“Patience,” she said. “I’m not a very patient person. … He’s very patient, and he’s very mentally tough. He’s a grinder. He works extremely hard.”

Woods had left ACL surgery five years ago.

“He knew what I was going through,” Vonn said. “He said, ‘Just be patient. Keep working hard, and everything’s going to turn around.’ It really helped me get through it. It’s tough. You’re sitting there, grinding away in the gym, and it’s like is this ever going to end? Am I ever going to get back on the slopes?”

Asked if she would make the podium in Sochi in a little over 100 days, Vonn said, “You better believe it.”

Vonn hoped to race in the season-opening World Cup giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday but opted out of it Wednesday. She expects, instead, to make her season debut in Beaver Creek.

“To be honest, Soelden was never really in my goals,” Vonn told USA Today. “But then (September training in) Chile went so well I was really hoping to race. I’m very, very antsy to get going. … My knee felt great, but the fact is I only trained five days (in Soelden) … and it’s tough to go into one of the most difficult giant slalom races of the season having only trained five days. I thought I was going to be able to do it, but in the long run it has no effect on my season and my main goal is the Olympics.”

Sorenstam, King weigh in on Vonn racing men

Video: Ligety wins season opener; skis into camera

John Wall in doubt for Olympics after knee procedures

John Wall
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Washington Wizards point guard John Wall underwent procedures on both of his knees, the team announced Thursday, clouding his chance of making the U.S. Olympic team.

Wall is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season in late October, but the team made no mention of if Wall could progress fast enough to be ready for a potential Olympic debut in Rio in early August.

The U.S. is already without its 2012 Olympic starting point guard, Chris Paul, who withdrew from team consideration in March.

The 12-man Olympic team is expected to be announced in late June.

If Wall is also out, that leaves USA Basketball to choose from this list of point guards among the roster pool finalists:

Mike Conley
Stephen Curry
Kyrie Irving
Damian Lillard

Russell Westbrook — 2012 Olympian

MORE: U.S. men’s basketball pre-Olympic schedule

Lindsey Vonn parties with Vanilla Ice, Tom Brady

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn partied with fellow Under Armour sports stars Tom Brady and Jordan Spieth as well as rapper Vanilla Ice on Wednesday.

The company held its 20th anniversary party in Baltimore, where it’s based.

Vonn is living it up in her offseason following another knee injury but is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season this fall.

MORE: Vonn details ‘excruciating pain’ from season-ending crash

So epic! Thx @vanillaiceofficial!!😎 – If you got a problem, yo-I'll solve it!

A video posted by Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn) on

Who is this guy in my snap?!….#tombrady @underarmour

A video posted by Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn) on