Lindsey Vonn is dealing with yet another new injury, but “remains hopeful” that she and her team can “fix it” and get her back on the slopes for a fitting ending to a legendary career.
Vonn, 34, told reporters after failing to finish higher than ninth during races at Cortina D’Ampezzo in Italy that it was a “possibility” she retires immediately. She updated that decision with an Instagram post Wednesday diagnosing a new injury to her surgically repaired knees. She said her wish is to continue skiing, though she acknowledges it may not be possible, in what she’s already determined is her final season on the World Cup circuit.
Vonn raced with impact injury at Cortina
Vonn is dealing with an impact injury to her peroneal nerve that probably happened during her final first-training run jump in Cortina, she said.
“After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down,” she said.
After a lot of physical therapy and time to clearly think things through, we have come to some conclusions about my knee. First, we discovered the reason I had so much pain and muscle shut down in Cortina was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve. This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it’s hard to know for sure. After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down. Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it. So far we haven’t found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow’s downhill training run. However, since this is a new “injury” per say, I remain hopeful that we can fix it. I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens. I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it. Thanks for all of the support you have shown me, it helps keep me going. ❤️🙏🏻
A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on Jan 23, 2019 at 7:01am PST
The peroneal nerve is located below the knee and controls the muscles that lift the foot. An impact injury can cause numbness and tingling and make it difficult to move the muscles in the lower leg.
Vonn competed in three races in her return from a left knee injury suffered during training in November and was unable to finish the super-G. She’s had four surgeries on her right knee and raced with braces on both.
She said will not be competing in Thursday’s downhill training run in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, since she and her team have not addressed the injury yet.
In accordance with International Ski Federation (ISF) rules she needs to start at least one training run, which are Thursday and Friday, in order to race the downhill, the Associated Press reported. She can race super-G without any training runs, it reported.
“Since this is a new ‘injury’ per se, I remain hopeful that we can fix it,” she said.
Not the ending she wanted
Vonn has 82 total World Cup wins and is five wins away from breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time wins record.
She wishes to reach that goal, but already announced last fall that she’s content with not getting that record if it means she can protect her ailing body.
She did not reference retirement in her Instagram post, but did hint at it.
“I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens,” she said. “I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance I will take it.”
Vonn planned her retirement for December 2019, with or without the record, so that she can race in Lake Louise, Alberta, one final time. She was unable to race last month at her favorite spot, where she’s won 18 times, due to injury.
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