Last updated: March 16. 2013 8:14PM - 249 Views
PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer



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The swelling around Lindsey Vonn's repaired right knee has gone way down a day after surgery and her spirits way up.


Back in time for the 2014 Sochi Games?


Try possibly back in time for the beginning of the World Cup season in late November.


The doctor who operated on Vonn's injured right knee thinks the four-time overall World Cup champion just might return that soon.


That's the goal, anyway. And it's looking more promising following the procedure by Dr. Bill Sterett on Sunday to fix Vonn's knee after she shredded two ligaments during a crash last week at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.


Sterett examined the knee again Monday and was optimistic about what he saw: Less swelling, increased range of motion and little discomfort.


But this is what struck him most: Her determination to attack her recovery like she would a downhill course.


She's in full-charge mode, Sterett told The Associated Press in a phone interview. She's like, ‘When can I start upper-body strengthening? When can I start working on my core? When can I spin on a stationary bike with my other leg?'


I haven't seen a hint of post-traumatic depression from her, or her feeling sorry for herself or her sad or asking, ‘Why now?' She's all about, ‘When can I? When can I? When can I? ‘


Sterett did caution Vonn that's it's going to be a steady process to return to full strength. This is something she can't rush after tearing her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last week during a fall in the super-G competition. She also broke a bone in her lower leg.


Hers was a little bit of an unusual injury. The ACL has a very typical and standard return to snow progression and it's fairly predictable, said Sterett, a surgeon for the U.S. Ski Team and at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. Hers was complicated by a little bit more of a severe MCL injury that needed surgery as well. That's going to necessitate us going a little bit slower right off the bat. Then, we'll play catch-up down the line.


Still, Sterett thinks she very well could be ready in time for the World Cup speed races in Lake Louise, Alberta, in late November or early December, a venue where she's won so often that it's become known as Lake Lindsey.


Vonn also wants to be healthy enough to ski in Beaver Creek in December, when the Birds of Prey course hosts both the men and the women as it prepares for the 2015 world championships.

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