By Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter
1:19 PM EST, February 6, 2013
Lindsey Vonn said Wednesday she will return to the United States for surgery to repair the injuries she sustained in a Tuesday crash in the Super G at the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Schladming, Austria.
In a statement issued by the U.S. Ski Team, Vonn said she will “work as hard as humanly possible to be ready” for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which open a year from Thursday in Sochi, Russia.
She is reigning Olympic champion in the downhill.
Vonn, 28, tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and fractured the tibial plateau in the crash.
Orthopedic surgeon Bill Sterett of Vail, Colo., a knee specialist who will perform the operation, said in a Wednesday email from Schladming he expects the surgery to take place early next week. He and Vonn will fly back to the United States together.
Sterett said Vonn had complete tears of both the ACL and MCL.
Sterett, head physician for the U.S. women's alpine team and medical director of the Vail Valley Surgery Center, would not give a timeline for Vonn's return to competition before doing the surgery. Sterett did say the fracture will force her to do non-weight bearing activities for a longer time.
"I can tell you that she is VERY determined and in good spirits, looking for the next step," Sterett wrote.
Vonn has bounced back from a variety of injuries several times in her career.
Julia Mancuso, who won the bronze in Tuesday's Super-G, said Wednesday on a media teleconference that "this is the first time she (Vonn) has had a really serious injury, but this is the best time (to have it happen) because there is still plenty of time to get ready for the Olympics. I have no doubt she will be back and strong and healthy."
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC