VIENNA - Five weeks away from potentially defending her Olympic downhill crown, American speed queen Lindsey Vonn is not even contemplating a return to the piste with her troubled knee, according to her coach.
"For the moment, there's no question of thinking about skiing," US women's team head coach Alexander Hoedlmoser told the Austrian APA news agency.
Vonn, 29, sustained a serious injury to her right knee in a horrific crash in last February's World Ski Championships in Schladming.
With reconstructive surgery involving the removal of her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and 10 months out, it surprised some that she even made it back to competitive skiing this season.
After suffering a setback in November, Vonn backed herself at Val d'Isere in December but her knee gave way halfway down the testing downhill course.
Vonn insisted at the time that the incident would not have major ramifications, saying she would race a maximum of two more events before heading to Sochi to defend her Olympic downhill title on February 12.
"Lindsey is currently trying to find some stability in her knee through muscle building," US team chief Patrick Riml told APA.
"Thank God, the meniscus is okay."
Riml added: "We must also think of the long term. If you fall with a torn cruciate ligament, it can have big consequences.
"If it was a young athlete, we would surely have stopped immediately." With such a prognosis, Vonn's presence at Sochi would seem in doubt. "It will depend on how the knee progresses," said Hoedlmoser.