Miller’s skiing future hinges on injured knee
ARE, Sweden – Bode Miller aggravated an injury to his left knee during training Tuesday, and whether he skis next season likely will depend on how it heals this summer.Miller’s knee gave him problems during downhill training for the World Cup finals, where he finished 18th. He skipped the recent races in Asia.”That’s going to be my top priority in the spring, getting that fixed up,” said Miller, who failed to win a medal in five races at the Torino Olympics. “That was a major issue all year. It’s really not that fun when you’re trying to race and train and you’re constantly dealing with an injury like that.”
“My knee is pretty sore, it just depends on how that can shape up this summer,” he said, referring to prospects of skiing again when the season resumes.The 28-year-old Miller originally hurt his knee on a jump in Beaver Creek early this season.He said his knee was swollen for three weeks and though it seemed to be healing, he hurt it again a few weeks later during a giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy.
“I just hammered myself there and it just ballooned again and I haven’t been able to tighten my quad,” he said. “It’s wicked atrophied now. It’s almost (an inch) smaller than my right one.”Miller exacerbated the injury Tuesday when he landed heavily on the top jump.”I just landed a little bit … harder than I needed to and the knee doesn’t really feel that great,” he said. “I would have liked to go to Korea and Japan but in hindsight those races are always pretty tough and those conditions I think probably would have hurt it some more.”
Miller travels independently from the U.S. team and lives in a recreational vehicle. He said earlier this season he felt he was part of the U.S. squad only by “default.” The question was raised whether he and the team would be better off if he trained separately as well.On Tuesday, Miller said he wasn’t eager to break away from the team, and Bill Marolt, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said he would talk with him after the season regarding his declining performances.”I think there’s strength in the coaching of our team,” Miller said. “I think there’s strength in the training partners I have. I don’t think there’s any negatives for me except that I have to respect what they ask me to do.”Vail, Colorado