Swiss slalom skier Aerni sidelined by back injury


Luca Aerni in the 2014 Kranjska Gora World Cup. GEPA/Christian Walgram

Luca Aerni in the 2014 Kranjska Gora World Cup. GEPA/Christian Walgram

Swiss-Ski announced that rising technical talent Luca Aerni will be sidelined for several weeks this summer because of a herniated disc in his back. Surgery is probably not necessary, but the trip to South America with the rest of his team for training has been postponed until further notice.

During the second on-snow camp for the World Cup group in late July in Zermatt, Aerni experienced severe back pain. An examination by Dr. Juergen Beck in Bern revealed a herniated disc between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. In collaboration with Walter Frey, head of medical for alpine skiing at Swiss-Ski, it was decided to forego surgery and to treat the herniation conservatively.

“Luca Aerni has responded well to drug initial treatment and the pressure on the nerve could be noticeably reduced. Now we need to determine the next steps in the conservative treatment and then monitor the therapy closely,” noted Frey.

While Aerni’s team is on its way to South America for three weeks of training, he is at home working on his recovery. It is a frustrating process for the 21-year-old who got his first World Cup break in the 2013 Munich City Event where he finished ninth and who was looking forward to a strong start to the 2014-15 season.

“I had a perfect physical preparation,” said Aerni, “was in top shape among the top athletes on the Konbi training team, and then this setback. That was pretty tough. Now I have to be patient, rest my back and then I will work in rehabilitation.”

A return to skiing is possible for Luca Aerni in four to six weeks.

Release courtesy of Swiss-Ski

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