VAIL, Colorado - Lindsey Vonn has been skiing on a hurt knee since early February, but she didn't want you to know about it until the season ended.
In an interview Sunday, Vonn said she thinks the knee pain she's been suffering from won't cause her any major setbacks, but surgery is a possibility.
The World Cup overall champion said after injuring the knee Feb. 5 at the World Cup super-G in Garmisch, Germany, she made a conscious decision to keep a lid on it.
"I've learned from my mistakes in the past," she said. "I didn't want to talk about it during the season. I didn't want that to be the focus."
Vonn said she hit a bump "funny" and compressed her meniscus in the Garmisch super-G, which she did not finish. She had just won the downhill there the day before.
"I struggled with it the rest of the year," she said. "Some days, it was better than others, but is was definitely something I dealt with the whole year."
Vonn said her doctor, Dr. William Sterett, of Vail-Summit Orthopedics, had indicated to her that she likely had some type of meniscus damage. She's expected to have the results of an MRI on the knee today. Regardless of the results, Vonn doesn't expect any long-term problems.
"Either way, I don't think this is going to be a huge setback for me," she said. "I've dealt with these kinds of issues before, and I'll just need a big break here in the spring ... whether that means surgery or not I'm not sure, but either way, my body definitely needs some time to rest. I'm sure by the time the ski season comes around then I'll be ready to go again."
Following the injury, Vonn went on to win three more World Cup events, including a super-G in Bansko, Bulgaria; a giant slalom in Are, Sweden, which clinched her fourth overall World Cup globe; and a downhill in Schladming, Austria. She said no matter what happens, her goal is to ski at the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships, which will be held here in the Vail Valley.
"I'll see how I'm feeling physically after the World Championships in Vail and make the decision whether I'll be continuing on with my career or not," she said. "Right now, I'm just trying to manage my health well and continue to win races."
Vonn said she plans to update her Facebook page today with the news on her surgery status, but if things are OK, she's hoping to do some spring skiing at Vail.
"Now that the season's over, I get a couple days," she said. "My brother's here. ... I'm hoping that my knee's not too bad and maybe I'll get a couple days in the afternoon when it's slushy and soft."