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Vonn tears ligaments in right knee, out for season

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United States' Lindsey Vonn speeds down the course during the women's super-G course, at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Feb.5, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Staff and wire reports

First published Feb 05 2013 07:56AM
Updated Feb 6, 2013 08:53AM

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn crashed during a foggy opening day super-G run at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday morning.

Vonn had posted the fastest first interval during her race and was having a strong run when she lost control after coming off a jump midway down the course. She was immediately attended to by race medical officials and was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

According to U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Kyle Wilkens, Vonn suffered a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee as well as a lateral tibial plateau fracture. She will be out for the remainder of this season, but is expected to return to racing for the 2013-14 Audi FIS World Cup season and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, according to a release from the United States Ski & Snowboard Association.

The four-time overall World Cup champion lost balance on her right leg while landing after a jump. Her ski came off immediately, and she slid off course and hit a gate before coming to a halt. She was treated on the slope for 12 minutes before being going to the hospital.

Vonn returned to the circuit last month after an almost monthlong break from racing to fully recover from an intestinal illness that put her in a hospital for two days in November.

Vonn trailed race winner Tina Maze of Slovenia by 0.12 seconds shortly before the crash.

The race, which was postponed for 3½ hours because of fog, resumed after another 15-minute delay. Several racers struggled with the conditions.

"It’s not a very difficult course but in some parts you couldn’t see anything," Swiss racer Fabienne Suter told The Associated Press.

Vonn is building a long list of medical mishaps. Two years ago, she pulled out midway through the last worlds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, because of a mild concussion. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Vonn skied despite a severely bruised shin to win the downhill and take bronze in the super-G.

At the 2009 worlds in Val d’Isere, France, she sliced her thumb on a champagne bottle after sweeping gold in the downhill and super-G, forcing her out of the giant slalom. At the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden, Vonn injured her knee in training and missed her final two events.

And at the 2006 Turin Olympics, she had a horrific crash during downhill training and went directly from her hospital room to the mountain to compete in four of her five events.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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