Lindsey Vonn announced that she would not be returning to competitive skiing as planned this weekend, but will instead hit the slopes for the first time since tearing her ACL earlier in the year at Beaver Creak in late November.

Vonn, 29, said three weeks ago at a U.S. Olympic Committee news conference that she’d begin competing this month, which is why her postponement comes as a surprise. The athlete, who has been training diligently in Austria, believes that the extra month of continued rehabilitation will serve her better in the long run, reported the Los Angeles Times.

While competing in the super-G of the Alpine world championships in Schladming, Austria, back in February, Vonn’s knee gave out, causing her to flip and roll 100 yards down the slope. As a result of the nasty spill, Vonn tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). Her recovery included reconstructive surgery and months of grueling rehab.

At the time of Vonn’s injury, there was hope that the medaled skier could return before the 2013-14 World Cup. “There’s a very good chance she could return at full force,” Dr. Tom Hackett, a team physician with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, had told The New York Times. “Typically, the A.C.L. alone will keep her out six to eight months, at least at the high, intense level of skiing she’s used to. The M.C.L. can often heal on its own.”


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Despite her decision to delay getting back into competitive skiing, Vonn still could find herself competing at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014.

– Chelsea Regan

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