I feel like all I do is give updates on injuries these days... This sport is rough.
I arrived in Kaprun, Austria, on November 2nd for the last camp of the 2016 prep period. With the first World Cup of the season on the horizon (December 10th in Ruka, Finland), it was time to fine tune my competition run that I had been training so hard to improve through the prep period. Despite a bout with the stomach flu earlier in the camp, I was feeling good. My training was going well, we had some epic powder days early in the camp, and I was happy with the progress I had made throughout the summer and fall.
Training at Kitzsteinhorn, Kaprun, Austria
On November 17th, I was having one of my best days of training until I really wasn’t.
In landing a front flip, my knee inwardly collapsed. I felt immediate pain, but after some tossing and turning, I decided I was fine to stand up and ski down. On impact, I expected what would soon become reality, but in the moments after the crash, I had little pain and even debated continuing training. I ultimately decided that I should be done training for the day, but was able to ski down without pain or trouble. I held false hopes in these moments, but my knee got worse as the day went on. As it swelled and showed signs of instability, I decided to go to the hospital.
My MRI images revealed a grade 2 MCL tear, bone bruise on my lateral tibial plateau, minimal damage to the meniscus, and [thankfully] only a sprain of the ACL. I have learned that with injuries in sport I cannot form expectations. The most I can do every day is apply myself fully to my recovery program, and hope that my body cooperates with my wishes of return to sport. I am so sad that because of this injury I will miss the first world cup in Ruka, but I hope that my recovery program will have me prepared by mid-January for the rest of the world cup season. For now, I am staying positive because I am overwhelmingly thankful that my ACL is fully intact, and when it comes to knee injuries, I am coming away quite lucky.
The outlook is relatively good.
I want to thank my German and Austrian friends for helping me in every way possible these past few days. Thanks to Dr. Christian Fink for seeing me without delay, and thanks to everyone at the U.S. Ski Team for coordinating my return home and recovery program. Good luck to the FIS freestyle crew at the first World Cup, and hope to see everyone in Lake Placid!
At least a day trip to Salzburg was really fun!