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Vonn wrecks as training intensifies

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POSTED November 19, 2013 10:57 p.m.

DENVER (AP) — Reigning Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn crashed Tuesday while training in Copper Mountain, Colo., ahead of her planned return to racing following major knee surgery.

U.S. Ski Team spokesman Tom Kelly said Vonn was taken down the hill on a sled, which he noted was “normal protocol” in such cases. Kelly said he was not sure whether Vonn hurt her surgically repaired right knee in the fall at the team’s speed training center.

“We have no reason to believe it’s anything significant right now,” Kelly told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

A spokesman for Vonn, Lewis Kay, issued a statement saying the ski racer was not admitted to a hospital and instead went home to Vail to be evaluated by the doctor who performed her knee surgery.  Kay didn’t specify the nature of her injuries. “We expect to have clarity on the situation in the next 24 hours,” Kay said.

Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, tore ligaments in her right knee in a accident at the world championships in February. She has been aiming to return to World Cup competition next week in Beaver Creek, Colo. The Sochi Games are in February.

With Vonn feeling her knee was months ahead of schedule, she thought about pushing up her comeback to the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, late last month. But she changed her mind, opting instead to continue to prepare.

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