Vonn bruises left knee at Copper
VAIL, Colorado ” Everyone involved with the U.S. Ski Team exhaled Wednesday afternoon.
Vail’s Lindsey Vonn, the queen of American ski racing and the defending World Cup overall champion, took a spill during a super-G training run Wednesday morning on Copper Mountain, injuring her left knee.
After heading over the pass to the Vail Valley Medical Center and seeing Dr. William Sterett later in the day, the U.S. Ski team announced that Vonn, who has 14 career World Cup wins to her credit, merely had a bruised knee.
“The good news is that there was no ligament or cartilage damage,” Doug Haney, a press officer for the team said. “She’s going to be treated for inflammation in her knee and go in for re-evaluation Monday.”
Vonn was getting runs in at Copper in anticipation of Winternational in Aspen next week. The only stop for the women on the World Cup Tour in the United States, Aspen hosts a giant slalom Nov. 29 and a slalom the next day.
“At this point, all indications are good for Aspen, but again we won’t know until Monday,” Haney said.
Aspen or Canada?
Vonn, who just turned 24 last month, is one of the sport’s rising superstars, and a serious knee injury could have been potentially devastating, especially considering the events of last week. The Ski Club Vail product opened her defense of her overall crown with a win in a slalom of all disciplines Saturday in Levi, Finland.
Better known as a speed racer ” five of her six World Cup wins last season were in downhill and she was in the top five in all nine races in the discipline during 2007-08 ” last weekend’s slalom win teased her fans of Vonn’s possible greater dominance in this year’s overall title chase.
With technical events set for Aspen Thanksgiving weekend, Vonn has an interesting situation, depending on her check-up Monday. Skiers always want to race on home snow, and it’s not outrageous speculation that Vonn would like to keep her momentum going in the GS and slalom.
At the same time, Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G, looms Dec. 5-7. Not only are the events more to her strength, but Lake Louise is Vonn’s personal stomping ground.
She notched her first World Cup win there Dec. 3, 2004, and hasn’t stopped winning north of the border since. Vonn’s won a DH at Lake Louise for four consecutive years and has finished in the top five in nine of her last 11 starts in Alberta.
Does she try to return for Aspen or does she take the week off and rest up for Lake Louise?
“It’s hard to say until she gets re-checked off by her doctor when she gets back to training or racing,” Haney said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.