Vail’s Vonn using painkillers, cheese to treat shin
AP Sports Writer
WHISTLER, British Columbia – Vail’s Lindsey Vonn has tried just about everything to heal a shin that she injured during pre-Olympics training in Austria.
She’s done the conventional (stretching), and the more advanced (laser therapy). She even tried a home remedy as she wrapped her leg in Austrian topfen curd cheese – a product similar to cream cheese that’s mainly used for eating but reported to also bring down swelling.
On Thursday she stepped up the treatment, taking painkillers and applying a Novocaine-type cream. If that doesn’t help, well, Vonn is just about out of options.
U.S. Ski Team doctor Bill Sterett said there’s not really a more aggressive step of treatment after that, no last line of healing for Vonn at the Vancouver Games.
“But I think it’s working,” he told The Associated Press. “She was up on the hill today.”
Maybe it was the cheese.
“So far, it seems to be working pretty well,” Vonn said Wednesday, the day she first revealed the severity of her injury.
There appears to be little scientific support for using the soft, white cheese to reduce the effects of bruising, but several other U.S. Ski Team members have tried plastering the product on ailing body parts to speed recovery.
Jim Moeller, the chief medical officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee, is still doing some research into whether cheese can be a cure.
“I’ve tried to look into that, find some scientific data on it,” Moeller said. “But right now, that kind of research to me is secondary to the acute injuries that are taking place. … It’s certainly not something I’ve ever used.”
If this works, and Vonn skis like her old self, it might just catch on.
On Thursday, though, Vonn may have received possibly the most effective treatment yet when the training run was scratched because of weather.
That’s an extra day of rest. That’s what the doctor ordered.
“Rest is the thing that’s going to heal it,” Moeller said. “Really, the best thing to make it better is to not make it worse – to give it a chance to heal by itself. We want that to be as fast as possible for her to be able to do what she wants to do.”
Vonn suffered a deep tissue bruise when she slammed down hard on top of her boot during the slalom run on Feb. 2. There was no nerve damage, just intense pain.
“It’s not much different than if you took a hammer and whacked yourself in the muscle in the leg,” Sterett explained. “It’s going to cause a lot of pain for more time than the hammer hitting you.”
The aching will only be aggravated since her ski boot rubs against the bruise as she shifts and glides down the slope.
“That’s uncomfortable, leaning into the ski boot,” Moeller said. “It’s a very painful injury.”
Only Vonn knows how much. That’s why U.S. women’s coach Jim Tracy is leaving her competition schedule completely in her hands.
“This is a big event, I know, but her health is more important than anything,” Tracy said. “This isn’t football, where these guys go and they get shot up to play and they’ll do anything – and then 10, 12 years later, they can’t walk.
“For me, the health comes first. We’ll make those decisions when the time comes, but we’re anticipating that with every day, things will get better, and she’ll be ready to go.”
AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this story.
Support Local Journalism
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User