Back injury forces Canada's Melanie Turgeon to sit out entire season


Back injury forces Canada’s Melanie Turgeon to sit out entire season{mosimage}CBC ONLINE — Reigning world downhill champion Melanie Turgeon of Canada will not be hitting the slopes this season. Turgeon, 27, will sit out the entire World Cup season due to a back injury, Le Soleil reported Saturday.

“Her injury is serious enough to make it difficult, even impossible, to think about coming back this season,” Turgeon’s agent, Blake Corosky, told the newspaper. “Melanie is very disappointed, but she hasn’t lost her morale. She has a lot of faith in her rehab program.”

Turgeon, who has been sidelined since suffering two herniated discs after a preseason fall in November, was originally targeting a January return.

Turgeon’s career has been plagued with back, knee and sinus ailments in recent years. She underwent physiotherapy and training to regain muscle fiber in her back after discovering lumbar instability around her vertebrae in September 2001.

The sore back came less than two months after she had excess cartilage surgically removed from her nose to relieve painful headaches caused by a sinus problem.

Despite her recent rash of injuries, Turgeon raced to Canada’s first skiing world championship medal in 10 years by capturing gold in the 2003 women’s downhill at St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The 2003-04 campaign marks the first time in Turgeon’s 14-year career that she will miss a whole season.

The news is another blow to the Canadian team, which lost its best male speed skier to injury last month. Erik Guay, 22, tore the ACL in his left knee while training for a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy.

He underwent surgery later that week and is also slated to miss the rest of the 2003-04 season.

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