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Lindsey Vonn Heading Home Surgery Expected Next Week

Andrew Dampf Associated Press | USA Today

American skier Lindsey Vonn will head home for surgery next week after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in her lower leg in Tuesday's crash at the world championships.

Vonn was released from the hospital late Tuesday and returned to the team hotel.

"I am grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support which has really helped me stay positive" Vonn said in a statement Wednesday a day after her crash here.

"I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi" at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

U.S. Ski Team physician William Sterett who has been treating Vonn since she was a child was with her on the snow after the crash then at a Schladming hospital where she was airlifted to.

"She'll be heading back to Vail (Colorado) and I will be doing surgery on her knee early next week" Sterett told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He would not set a return date to skiing for Vonn until after the surgery. Other doctors have speculated that Vonn could be looking at six to eight months before she's back on skis.

Sterett also left open the possibility of Vonn requiring more than one surgery saying that with these types of injuries "that's always a possibility."

"I plan on returning to Vail as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries" Vonn said in her statement although the plan for now was only one operation.