— SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) — Lindsey Vonn will miss the rest of the ski season after tearing knee ligaments and breaking a bone in her leg in a high-speed crash Tuesday at the world championships. The U.S. team expects her to return for the next World Cup season and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Vonn lost balance on her right leg while landing a jump in the super-G. She flipped in the air, landed on her back and smashed through a gate before coming to a halt.
The four-time overall World Cup winner and 2010 Olympic downhill champion received medical treatment on the slope for 12 minutes before being taken by helicopter to a hospital in Schladming.
The 28-year-old star tore her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee. U.S. team medical director Kyle Wilkens said in a statement. The broken bone in her lower leg was described as a "lateral tibial plateau fracture."
Christian Kaulfersch, the assistant medical director at the worlds, said Vonn left the Schladming hospital Tuesday afternoon and will have surgery at another hospital.
"She first wanted to go back to the team hotel to mentally deal with all what has happened," Kaulfersch said.
Team physician William Sterett was with Vonn but declined to offer any more information when contacted by The Associated Press.
This is the sixth straight major championship in which Vonn has been hit with injuries. The crash in the opening event of the championships came almost exactly a year before the Olympics.
"She will be out for the remainder of this season but is expected to return to racing for the 2013-14 ... World Cup season and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi," the team said.
Vonn returned to the circuit last month after an almost monthlong break from racing to fully recover from an intestinal illness that put her in a hospital for two days in November.