Vonn likely to train as planned

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By Simon Evans

WHISTLER (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn is likely to train on Thursday as planned despite a shin injury which was limited to muscle damage and did not affect the bone, her U.S. team's medical staff said on Wednesday.

Downhill and super-G gold medal favorite Vonn revealed earlier that she had suffered an injury while training in Austria last week and that her participation in the Winter Games was in doubt.

But it was a more positive message from the U.S. team later in the day at the Alpine skiing venue at Whistler.

"From a medical standpoint, we will meet in the morning and decide whether it is smart for her to do a training run --- right now our plan is 100 percent yes," U.S. women's Alpine skiing team doctor Bill Sterett told a news conference.


"This isn't a bone issue, her bone isn't hurting at all - it is not a typical shin bang. It's a muscular problem - just a deep bruise to the muscle," said Sterett.

"We are now dealing with some bleeding that happened in the muscles at the front of her leg and it's resolving and getting better on a day-to-day basis," he said.

The doctor said the plan was to continue with Vonn's original schedule for the Games.

"There is absolutely no change in the current plan for Lindsey, in what she is racing in or what she is training in," he said.

"Each and every morning we will get together with Lindsey and her trainer and other people and make the right decision for Lindsey on that particular day."

U.S. downhill coach Alex Hoedlmoser was pragmatic about Vonn's chances of a quick return to the slopes.

"Either she is able to do it or not, that's the question. If she's not fit, then she's not going to do it," he told Reuters.

"If she doesn't do training on Thursday, then it's not the end. She can still do Friday, she just needs one run before the race," he said, adding that he thought she had a 90 percent probability of her starting Thursday's training.

"It's a bruise of the muscle on the shin, which is a very common injury among skiers. Something that is very painful because it's on the boot top and that's an area that you just use a lot, but it's nothing serious. It's something that's painful"

Vonn has dominated the speed events in the women's World Cup this season and is also a medal contender in the technical events.

(Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Miles Evans)