A leading San Antonio sports medicine physician says he's not surprised about Lindsay Vonn's knee re-injury forcing her to withdraw from next month's Sochi Olympics, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"You just look at the velocity that down hill skiers achieve, the amount of force that is going through the knee is quite a bit," said Dr. Josh Bell with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.
Vonn's departure from the Olympics is a blow to the U.S. team, she won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Canada. It also is a blow to NBC, because Vonn is the best known of all the American athletes who had been expected to compete, and for a lot of Americans, she was the only winter Olympics athlete they had heard of. She is also the girlfriend of golfer Tiger Woods.
Bell says even though modern sports medicine can repair the injured knees of superstar athletes almost to the point where the knee was before the injury, re-injuries are fairly frequent.
"Anybody who has had a previously injured knee, you can look at basketball players, Russell Westbrook (of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team) just had a re-injury."
Vonn says she will return for the 2015 world championships. But Dr. Bell says, at thirty, she probably shouldn't count on it.
"We see this a lot with aging athletes," he said. "The athlete's desire, and will to perform at the same level that they have and the fact that their body doesn't do the same thing, that always ends up in a murder charge at some point."