Lindsey Vonn: American skier's season ended by knee injury

Story highlights

  • Lindsey Vonn confirms she's out for rest of the season after fracturing knee
  • American skier crashed during super-G event in Andorra Saturday
  • Scans revealed Vonn suffered three fractures to tibial plateau

(CNN)She may currently lead the overall World Cup standings, but Lindsey Vonn might not be sitting top of the pile come the end of the skiing season.

Vonn, who is 28 points clear of nearest rival Lara Gut, announced Wednesday that her campaign is over after fracturing her knee in action last week.
    The American ski star was evacuated off the slope by sled after crashing during a super-G event in Andorra Saturday -- although she did return to competition 24 hours later in a knee brace.
    "Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career," she posted in a statement on Instagram.

    Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday. Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career. When I crashed on Saturday in Andorra, I fractured my tibial plateau. 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. After the Super Combined on Sunday, I went to Barcelona where more precise MRI and CT equipment was available and scans were performed on Tuesday morning. Those images showed that there was not just 1 hairline fracture, but in fact 3. And the fractures are not hairline, but instead they are significant enough that they are not sufficiently stable to permit me to safely continue skiing. Further damage any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing. With the World Championships in St. Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk. So I have made the decision to end my season. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year: 9 World Cup victories, breaking the World Cup downhill win record, breaking the World Cup Super G podium record, and winning the most World Cup discipline titles--20--of any skier, male or female. While I am confident that I'm making the right decision, it still doesn't make this decision any easier. Thanks to everyone who supported me and stood by me through it all. Best of luck to all the World Cup competitors. I'll see you again next year. Xo LV

    A photo posted by Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn) on

    "Further damage to any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing."
    Despite setting the fastest time in the super-G leg and finishing 13th in the combined event Sunday, scans have since revealed that Vonn suffered three fractures to her tibial plateau -- rather than one that original tests first showed after the crash.
    The four-time overall winner, who has captured 76 World Cup races in total, will miss the remaining 2016 World Cup meetings in Slovakia and Switzerland, which run until March 20.
    "I have made the decision to end my season. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year," Vonn added in her statement.
    "With the World Championships in St. Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk [of suffering further damage]."
    Vonn is 31 years old and already has an extensive injury history, including the torn ACL/MCL and fractured tibial plateau she suffered during the World Championships in February 2013.
    Vonn hasn't only made her mark on the slopes. She's also been in the news for dating golf great Tiger Woods and, more recently, for posing only in body paint for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Woods and Vonn are no longer a couple.