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Lindsey Vonn ‘hopeful’ of comeback after retirement talk

Lindsey Vonn is not giving up yet.

Plagued by injury in recent years, the 34-year-old American had hinted at retiring after being forced to compete at Cortina wearing braces on both knees.

Vonn’s appearance at Cortina last week, where she had won 12 World Cup races, was her first since suffering a knee injury while training at Lake Louise in November.

Clearly struggling with her knee problem, she could only muster a 15th place finish in last Friday’s downhill and ninth in Saturday’s race.

Asked whether she had already taken part in her final race, she told reporters: “I think so … but I must think about it.”

But in an Instagram post published on Wednesday, Vonn struck a more positive tone.

“After a lot of physical therapy and time to clearly think things through, we have come to some conclusions about my knee,” wrote Vonn.

“First, we discovered the reason I had so much pain and muscle shut down in Cortina was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve. This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it’s hard to know for sure.

“After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down. Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it.

“So far we haven’t found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow’s (Thursday) downhill training run. However, since this is a new ‘injury’ per say, I remain hopeful that we can fix it.

“I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens. I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it. Thanks for all of the support you have shown me, it helps keep me going.”

Vonn, who holds the women’s record of 82 World Cup wins, needs just five more victories to beat Swede Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86.

But that marks looks way off for the American, who recently told CNN’s Alpine Edge she has become increasingly fearful of the onset of arthritis should she race on in her attempt to become the most successful skier ever.

“I want to be able to walk without pain when I’m older and hopefully some day I’ll be able to ski with my kids and that’s important to me,” she said.

“I’ve extended my career probably longer than I should have already but I’m finally succumbing to what my body has been telling me for a while. That’s why I can’t keep going.

“There will be long-term effects — I will have arthritis, I will have joint pain, I will have a lot of pain in a lot of different places, but I still want to finish on my own terms.”

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