Crash sidelines World Cup’s overall champ
November 28, 2007
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. ” World Cup overall champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway will be out for months following a crash that left him with broken facial bones and a deep wound in his buttocks and groin.
He underwent four hours of surgery, Norway team doctor Ola Ronsen told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He is expected to remain hospitalized at least another three to five days.
Svindal broke his nose and his cheek bones in two places when he crashed during downhill training Tuesday. He also chipped a front tooth.
“He’s out for months, not weeks,” Ronsen said. “There are some obstacles in the way. The cut is deep and is of concern in that it could get infected or open up if he puts too much pressure on it.”
The 24-year-old Norwegian will need at least three weeks without exercise to allow the wound to heal, Ronsen said. Doctors then will be able to say when he can resume training.
“He’s really beaten up but pretty positive,” Norwegian coach Marius Arnesen said.
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Svindal lost his balance on the lower section of the course and crashed as he was heading into a dip that follows a jump. He landed on his back and neck with his skis in front of him. He then slid over the dangerously sharp edges of his skis, which cut him as he careened into the safety netting.
Svindal was removed from the course on a sled and taken to Vail Valley Medical Center.
He won a super-G in Lake Louise on Sunday to reclaim the lead in the overall standings. He was 17th in the season’s only other downhill, at Lake Louise on Saturday. He won the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria.
Racing at Beaver Creek begins Thursday with a super-combined, which Svindal won last year.
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