American skier Lindsey Vonn was reportedly cleared by her doctors to resume skiing on Thursday, just days ahead of the World Cup, which begins on Saturday.
The four-time World Cup overall champion was sidelined for months following a serious injury back in August. Vonn, 31, broke her left ankle while training GS in New Zealand.
The injury resulted in Vonn’s absence in the downhill training camp in Portillo, Chile.
However, after months of missing the snow, Vonn will fly to Europe to catch the World Cup, although it is still unclear whether she will participate or not.
“I’m going to go over there and get on snow and see how I feel and make the decision then,” Vonn said in an interview on Monday. “Obviously it’s asking a lot, but I left New Zealand skiing very well in GS, so I don’t want to rule it out until I get on snow.”
Meanwhile, the world-renowned female skier also shared the news on her Facebook page.
“Excited to announce that I’ve been cleared to ski and am heading to Europe tomorrow. I’ll be back on snow on Thursday!!!,” she posted.
However, she also mentioned via Twitter that she is still unsure whether she would participate in the upcoming Saturday or not.
Just to be clear, I am still undecided on whether I will compete in the first race of the season in Sölden. Will make a decision Friday
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) October 19, 2015
Talking to reporter Brian Pinelli of USA Today, the award-winning athlete said that, while it is likely that she would not participate, she would not rule it out 100%. She reportedly wanted to feel the snow first and then make a decision then.
In a related report, the Olympian has missed the last two seasons due to several knee-related injuries. She specializes in speed downhill events, as well as super-G. Her last win in giant slalom was on Jan. 26, 2013.
Vonn, who broke Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62 titles last season, is currently the winningest female in World Cup history, with 67 World Cup wins under her belt.
Her next target is obviously to overtake Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark, who is the record holder for the most World Cup victories with 86.
In case Vonn decides to pass on the giant slalom race on Saturday in Soelden, Austria, the US athlete will need to prepare for the season’s second giant slalom race in Aspen, Colorado on Nov. 28.
One week later, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist would compete for the World Cup downhill title, and try to capture her eighth in nine seasons.
In the report by USA Today, Vonn would take part in the U.S. Ski Team training camps in November, which will be held in Copper Mountain and Vail. Chris Knight, a veteran ski coach will reportedly handle Vonn’s progress and training.
“We need two weeks on the speed skis at the start in Colorado to get information for her service guy so he is confident with what skis he is putting out as it comes closer to racing,” the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association coach said. “That’s the game plan for the first part of the camp in Colorado, and then it will be more of a GS block preparing for Aspen at the end.”
However, aside from battling with Austria’s Anna Fenninger, who won the 2014-2015 World Cup title, Vonn would also need to take on the U.S. team’s rising skiers such as 20-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, who tied with Fenninger in the giant slalom race and is a three-time World Cup slalom champion.
Vonn may have been struggling with various injuries for the past several years, but she believes she can still compete at a high level this season.
[Images via Facebook; Alain Grosclaude, Getty Images]