January 16, 2014 / 3:42 AM / 5 years ago

Vonn undergoes successful knee surgery

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. reacts in the finish area after a training session ahead of the Women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Val d'Isere, French Alps, December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) - Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn has undergone successful surgery to repair the injured right knee that cost her a chance of defending the title she won in Vancouver four years ago, the American announced on Wednesday.

Vonn, who has battled knee ailments over the past year, was forced to withdraw from next month’s Sochi Games in Russia to have the operation, although she is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2014-15 World Cup season.

The 29-year-old four-times World Cup champion, one of the biggest attractions in winter sport, spoke of the surgery via her Facebook account.

“Resting with loved ones,” Vonn wrote. “So thankful to have such great people helping me. Will update more later.”

Vonn re-injured her knee late last month in France. She was competing in just her second World Cup event since tearing her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) in an accident last February.

Vonn also claimed a bronze medal in the Super-G event in Vancouver.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien

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