Svindal may be out for ski season | AspenTimes.com

Svindal may be out for ski season

Erica Bulman
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. ” There is a good chance overall World Cup champion Aksel Lund Svindal will be sidelined for the season because of a serious crash during downhill training earlier this week.

“If you’re talking about the likelihood of his coming back to ski racing this season, it’s less likely than likely,” Norway team doctor Ola Ronsen said Sunday.

Svindal sustained a deep gash in his groin area and underwent a four-hour operation Tuesday to repair broken bones in his face. He also had abdominal surgery.

“He felt better after the first day of surgery than he did two or three days after,” Ronsen said. “But it’s all a very normal course of recovery so far. Yesterday he was up from bed and even walking around a little.

“He had quite a number of visits from ski friends so he was a little bit tired in the afternoon and evening after the visits.”

Svindal remains in intensive care and doctors plan to keep him there another few nights, Ronsen said. He is expected to remain in the hospital at least another week.

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“I talked to his surgeon yesterday and he is very content with Aksel’s progress,” Ronsen said. “We look forward to the end of the week to see if he can travel, but only if it’s safe. We don’t want to push the date.”

The 24-year-old Norwegian skier will need at least three weeks without any physical training or exercise to allow the wounds to heal. Only then will doctors be able to assess when he might resume training.

Ronsen refused to divulge details of Svindal’s injuries.

On Thursday, U.S. team doctor Bill Sterett said the 6-inch laceration caused by his ski “went up near his rectum, his large intestine.”

Sterett said Svindal may need more surgery in three months.

Svindal lost his balance on the lower section of the course, coming off the Golden Eagle jump and crashed as he was heading into a dip that follows the jump. He landed on his back and neck with his skis in front of him, then slid over the dangerously sharp edges of his skis, which cut him as he careened into the safety netting.

He was removed from the course on a sled before being transported to the Vail Valley Medical Center.

Svindal won a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 25 to reclaim the lead in the overall standings. He also won the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria.