Lindsey Vonn reinjured the knee she blew out at the World Championships in a training crash on Tuesday, her publicist said in an email.
“Lindsey sustained a mild strain to her right knee, a partial tear to her right ACL, minor facial abrasions and scapular contusions from her fall,” Lewis Kay wrote Wednesday. “She needs to rest for a few days and then will pursue aggressive physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete after seeing how she responds to the treatment.
We will provide a further update when new information becomes available.”
Vonn suffered a torn ACL, MCL and lateral tibial plateau fracture on Feb. 5, crashing in the World Championships super-G in Schladming, Austria (video here). The Olympic downhill champion had surgery five days later and planned to return to competition nine months after that.
The first Olympic Alpine skiing event is less than three months away on Feb. 10.
Before the crash at Copper Mountain, Colo., on Tuesday, she was expected to return to competitive skiing for the first time at a World Cup stop in Beaver Creek beginning Nov. 29 and enter as many as four events at the Sochi Olympics.
“I believe Lindsey is the kind of person that’s going to work as hard as anybody can work at it and will recover as strong as anyone,” U.S. Alpine skier Ted Ligety told The Associated Press. “She has the mind-frame to come back strong. If it’s possible for her to get out there and compete, she’ll be out there competing. And when she competes, she normally wins.”
Vonn returned to skiing on snow in Portillo, Chile, on Aug. 31 (video here) and said shortly after that her right knee wasn’t swollen and that she couldn’t tell which knee was injured anymore.
She felt so good that she considered racing in the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 26 but opted against it three days before the race.
“I’ve only been on snow for a few days, but I’m already almost right back where I was,” she told Matt Lauer on “TODAY” on Oct. 28 (video here).
She trained downhill for the first time since her crash on Nov. 6 and, two days later, said she felt healthy enough to win a World Cup super-G race.
Vonn recently said she’s reluctantly been wearing a protective knee brace under doctor’s orders, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s in my best interest to play it safe,” Vonn said, according to the AP. “I compromised and said that as long as I don’t have to wear [the brace] for the Olympics, I’ll be fine.”
Vonn, a three-time Olympian, is three wins away from matching Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell for the most World Cup victories by a woman with 62. The overall record is held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark at 86.
Her career has been filled with championship crystal globes but also injuries long before her World Championships crash.
In 2006, she crashed in a downhill training run at the Torino Olympics, suffering a bruised hip, but competed two days later and finished eighth.
In 2007, she crashed in a slalom training run and suffered a sprained ACL.
In 2009, she cut her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle celebrating a World Championship. She needed surgery to repair a cut tendon. Later in December 2009, she crashed during a World Cup giant slalom run in December and bruised her arm but skied through it.
In 2010, she bruised her shin a week before the Olympics, causing “excruciating” pain when she tried to put on a ski boot. She skied through it, winning the Vancouver downhill and taking bronze in the super-G. She crashed in the Olympic giant slalom, breaking her right pinkie, and also crashed in the super combined.
In 2011, she crashed during a training run one week before the World Championships, suffering a concussion. She raced anyway, finishing second in the downhill and seventh in the super-G.
In 2012, she suffered from an intestinal illness and took a three-week break from the World Cup tour over the holidays.