Knee injury ends World Cup leader Vonn's season

Wed Mar 2, 2016 8:50am EST
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(Reuters) - Overall World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn declared her Alpine ski season, and title hopes, over on Wednesday due to a knee injury.

Vonn, who had been chasing a fifth overall title, led Switzerland's Lara Gut by 28 points in the overall standings after last weekend's races in Andorra, where she crashed.

The decision was one of the toughest of her career but scans had shown a hairline fracture to be more serious and extensive than thought, the 31-year-old American said in a statement.

Further damage "could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing," she said on her Facebook page.

The American won a record 20th World Cup trophy last month when she clinched the downhill crown. She has won 76 World Cup races, chasing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86.

"When I crashed on Saturday in Andorra, I fractured my tibial plateau," the skier explained of that fall in a Super-G race that damaged her left knee.

She was taken off the slope on a sled after receiving medical attention next to the course.

"The traditional X-rays that were taken that afternoon showed a hairline fracture, but the tibial plateau appeared to be stable and did not pose significant risk to competing. So I raced on Sunday."

Vonn -- whose career has been punctuated by serious injuries -- skied with a knee brace in that combined event. "No-one can ever call me a wimp," she had declared on Twitter afterwards.   Continued...

Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. speaks during a news conference at Hotel Park Inn in Stockholm, prior to the Women's World Cup Parallel Slalom in central Stockholm, Sweden, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Maja Suslin/TT