Austrian World Cup technical and combined specialist Michaela Kirchgasser will miss at least the next three weeks of training after sustaining an injury to her left knee during a conditioning session. Kirchgasser finished the 2015-16 season ranked third in the alpine combined standings behind Wendy Holdener and Lara Gut after she scored podium results in Val d’Isere, France, and Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
The 31-year-old Austrian fell from a slackline during dryland training early last week but did not suspect injury until she began training on the Saas Fee glacier in Switzerland with the speed team. After suffering pain in her left knee, Kirchgasser was evaluated by team physician Dr. Christian Fink and diagnosed with a tear of the lateral meniscus. She was previously diagnosed with bruised cartilage in her left knee last season following a crash in Jasna, Slovakia, and she also sustained an injury to the same knee in 2009.
Kirchgasser underwent an arthroscopic procedure on her left knee earlier this week and is expected to sit out the next three weeks of training, including the team’s planned trip to Chile.
Her young teammate Elisabeth Reisinger was less fortunate and sustained a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in her left knee from a crash on the Saas Fee glacier while training giant slalom. The 20-year-old B team speed specialist underwent surgery on Monday but will miss the entire 2016-17 competition season recovering from the devastating injury.