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Vonn cautious about Sochi Olympics participation

Skier Lindsey Vonn watches her boyfriend, Tiger Woods of the U.S., during a practice round ahead of the British Open golf championship at Mu
Skier Lindsey Vonn watches her boyfriend, Tiger Woods of the U.S., during a practice round ahead of the British Open golf championship at Mu

(Reuters) - Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn cast doubt on Wednesday on whether she will be ready to compete at the Sochi Winter Games after reinjuring her surgically repaired right knee.

Speaking for the first time since her training run crash on November 19, Vonn told the Today Show she was "feeling good" but cautioned that she will not know if she can be fit for the Sochi Olympics, which begin in less than three months, until she gets back on snow.

"I've been doing rehab and I've been progressing every day, but in the next couple of days I'm going to start getting on snow here at Vail and see how it feels and hopefully get a couple of days of training before I head up to Canada," Vonn told the Today Show's Matt Lauer during an interview from Vail, Colorado. "If things go well, I'll be racing next week.

"If they don't, then I'm going to have to reassess and kind of see where I stand and if I can make a comeback for this season."

Certainly racing next weekend in Lake Louise would be ideal for Vonn. The venue is considered one of the tamer courses on the World Cup circuit and a venue she has dominated having collected 14 career wins at the picturesque Alberta resort.

"I'm feeling good from rehab. I feel stable. I put some weight on it yesterday as far as doing some weighted balance exercises and doing some squats and things like that, and it felt really good, so I'm very hopeful, but, like I said, I really don't know until I get on snow," said Vonn.

The 29-year-old American tore ligaments in her right knee last February in a crash racing super-G at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria.

She partially tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and suffered a mild strain to the same knee in a downhill training fall at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain in preparation for races this weekend at Beaver Creek.

"I just need to feel stable when I'm on my skis," said Vonn. "It's one thing to feel stable while you're doing squats, it's another thing to feel stable while you're actually racing at 90 miles an hour.

"There definitely is a long ways to go there, but I'm confident that it's going to be OK. At this point, that's all I can do — is stay positive.

"I'm kind of out of options at this point."

The Sochi Olympics run from February 7-23.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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