Vail’s Lindsey Vonn partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her surgically repaired right knee in a training crash at Copper Mountain on Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed today.
“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,” Vonn spokesman Lewis Kay said in an email statement.
“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.”
That would almost certainly rule her out of competing in next week’s World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek, which was scheduled to be Vonn’s comeback venue after blowing out her right knee at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria, in February.
Now Vonn’s return to action in time for the Winter Olympic in Sochi, Russia, in February is in doubt.
U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Kyle Wilkens said Vonn’s response to the therapy would ultimately determine the timetable for her return to active training.
Vonn crashed Tuesday morning while training on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center full-length downhill course at Copper Mountain, just over Vail Pass from Vonn’s hometown. Vonn was taken by sled off the mountain and helped away from the base area.
Junior racer Maris Van Slyke tweeted a photo of Vonn being helped away at the base of Copper Mountain.
Vonn was never admitted to the hospital but was evaluated there by Vail Summit Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Sterett, who performed surgery on Vonn after her crash in the World Championship super-G in February.
Vonn on Nov. 8 in Vail declared herself 100 percent healthy and skiing the best super-G of her career. The four-time overall World Cup champion and two-time Olympic medalist had set her sights on returning for next Friday’s downhill on the new Talons course at Beaver Creek.
Vonn was on the sideline in Denver Sunday with her boyfriend, golfer Tiger Woods, watching the Broncos play the Kansas City Chiefs.