• Winter Sports

Vonn suffers another knee injury in France

ESPN staff
December 21, 2013
Vonn returned to the snow in November © Getty Images

Lindsey Vonn's preparations for Sochi 2014 were dealt a blow after she suffered a worrying crash at Val D'Isere.

Vonn's right knee, which she injured in horrific fashion in February's World Ski Championships, gave way at the World Cup event at the south France course.

The 29-year-old - won a gold and a bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver - took ten months out after her crash in February and surprised many by returning to competitive skiing this season, though her knee problems have been a recurring issue since.

While the crash might put her hopes of competing in Sochi next year in doubt, Vonn is determined not to dwell on the crash - and insists she is still hoping to get further competitive race practice in ahead of the Olympics.

"My goal is the Olympics. I'm not winning any World Cups this year, any titles, as long as I'm skiing well and I have good confidence that's all I really need," Vonn said.

"I just need to be careful about how many races I do. I'm at risk of doing more damage to my knee and my meniscus and things like that.

"So I'm going to play it safe and race minimal races, probably maybe one or two, before the Olympics just so I can get the confidence and the timing and the feeling of racing again."

Vonn has had to learn to cope with her knee problems since injury but she admits she is fully aware that there is no easy remedy for a problem which may hamper her career for years to come.

"Unfortunately I have no ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and it just gave out on me," added Vonn.

"It was a small compression and it was fully loaded on the right ski and my knee just completely gave out. I tried to pressure the ski again and it gave out again.

"I'm going to be as safe and smart as I can and give myself as much time as I can give myself to really get as strong as I can.

"Unless I get surgery there's not anything really magical I can do to make it better. I can just get my leg and muscles stronger to try to support it more, but that has a small impact.

"My knee is loose and it's not stable and that's the way it's going to be from here on out, I just have to get used to it."

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