MERIBEL, France - Maria Hoefl-Riesch is making plans to visit Lindsey Vonn as she recovers from knee surgery.
Vonn had surgery on her right knee less than two weeks ago. She tore her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a horrific crash during the super-G at the world championships in Schladming, Austria, on Feb. 5. Vonn also broke a bone in her lower leg.
Speaking after Friday's training run in Meribel, Hoefl-Riesch says they have been in touch.
"Not spoken, but we were writing emails sometimes because we are planning (in) the spring to have some holiday together," Hoefl-Riesch told The Associated Press. "Maybe I can come visit her after my holiday at the beach. I go to the Seychelles with my husband. So after that we can make a little trip to the U.S."
Dr. Bill Sterett, a physician for the U.S. Ski Team, performed the procedure on the four-time overall World Cup champion in Vail, Colorado. Vonn is making a good recovery and could be back as early as November, giving her time to get back to the slopes for the 2014 Sochi Olympics to defend her Olympic downhill title from the 2010 Vancouver Games.
"I think she is really positive already and her injury was not as bad as they thought the first time, because her tibia is not really broken. It has just a little cut, or a little crack," Hoefl-Riesch said. "So they didn't have to fix that with screws or anything. It's just the ACL, which is bad enough, but for sure she will be back. I'm looking forward to seeing her back next winter."
The German skier, a two-time gold medallist at the Olympics and the world championships, had been Vonn's closest rival in the past five years until Tina Maze of Slovenia surpassed them this season.
Hoefl-Riesc expects Vonn to come back strongly.
"She's totally motivated, and I also know from my own (experiences) that it's not so easy after injury to get full gas again. But I'm sure Lindsey's so strong she can get this feeling and the risk back pretty soon," said Hoefl-Riesch, who has had knee injuries in her career. "Maybe at the beginning, the first time on skis it will be difficult for her, too. But not for a long time."
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