Svindal suffers season-ending injury
Second knee surgery in 12 months
A year after sustaining a serious knee injury on the slopes, champion skier Aksel Lund Svindal is coming to terms with another season-ending blow.
“Here we go again,” the Norwegian said on his Facebook page Tuesday, accompanied by a picture of him recuperating after surgery.
“The good part is that there are great chances of this being much better next winter. The bad part is that it’s back to the crutches and no more skiing this winter.”
In January 2016, Svindal ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee after a nasty fall during a race in Kitzbuhel, Austria. He was leading the overall FIS World Cup standings at the time, but the injury brought a premature end to his bid to win his third crown – and first since 2009.
This time, almost a year to the day later, a detached meniscus has sidelined the 2010 Olympic super-G gold medalist who had returned to skiing in September after a six-month rehab program.
Svindal pulled out of last weekend’s World Cup downhill event in Wengen, Switzerland, due to what he initially suspected was a niggling knee problem.
It was only when he went under the knife that the extent of his injury became clear.
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“We did MRI scans and manual checkups, but couldn’t really determine 100% if something was wrong or not. After trying the training runs in Wengen I made up my mind. Something’s not right, and we need to figure this out,” Svindal wrote on Facebook.
“Together with the medical team I took the decision to do another surgery. What they found was a meniscus that was no longer attached to the bone.
“That’s no good in a downhill course… Meniscus not attached means no function, and no function means every landing on a jump and every hit to the knee is painful.”
Svindal leads the 2016-17 downhill standings and is 11th overall in the World Cup title race.
The veteran’s form in December had been encouraging, with the 34-year-old placing second in the super-G and third in the downhill at Val d’Isere, and then second in the downhill at Val Gardena.
This is just the latest in a run of injuries that have halted his career – in late 2014, he tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg and missed much of the season.
He was sidelined for most of the year between his 2007 and 2009 World Cup successes, suffering horrific wounds after crashing badly in a training run and hitting a security fence.
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This season, Svindal’s fellow Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen is attempting to chase down Austria’s five-time champion Marcel Hirscher at the top of the overall World Cup standings.