Vonn welcomes extra day off

By Patrick Vignal

WHISTLER (Reuters) - Olympic downhill favorite Lindsey Vonn welcomed the "best possible scenario" after bad weather gave her an extra day off to rest her bruised leg on Friday.

The American, who hurt her right shin in training last week and feared she might miss the Games, has only done course inspections so far because the downhill training runs scheduled for Thursday and Friday were canceled.

Vonn, chasing five medals and strong favorite for the downhill and super-G, also discovered on Friday that the opening women's event, the super-combined, would not take place on Sunday and would be rescheduled.

"Obviously, I was looking forward to running the course but for me at the moment I think this is the best possible scenario because it gives me that little bit more time to rest my leg," Vonn said in an audio statement released by the U.S. ski team.

The 25-year-old looked relaxed and flashed a smile when she skied past reporters during Friday's inspection down the Franz's Downhill piste.

"I could have done that training run, obviously with a lot of pain, but it's best for me to have canceled," she added.

Her husband, former Olympic skier Thomas Vonn, said she was recovering.

"It's definitely getting better each day," he told reporters. "We welcome these days off and are taking it day by day. She didn't really ski on it today, it was just an inspection run so she didn't put any stress on the leg or anything, it was just super easy."

Swede Anja Paerson, one of Vonn's main rivals, said she did not believe the American would be hampered by the injury.

"I see her skiing and that makes me believe she's in good shape," Paerson told reporters.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)