Road To The Olympic Games

Aksel Lund Svindal shelved for months

Reigning World Cup champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway will be sidelined for several months following a horrendous crash in Tuesday's training session at Beaver Creek, Colo.

Reigning World Cup champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway will be sidelined for several months following a horrendous crash in Tuesday's training session at Beaver Creek, Colo.

Svindal, 24, fractured facial bones, chipped a tooth and suffered a deep woundto his buttocks and groin when cut by his own skis.

He underwent surgery Wednesday and is expected to remain in hospital for three to five days.

"He is out for months, not weeks," said Dr. Ola Ronsen, Norway's team physician. "There are some obstacles in the way.

"The cut is deep and is of concern in that it could get infected or open up if he puts too much pressure on it."

American team physician Dr. Bill Sterett said the cut measured six inches, and "went up near his rectum, his large intestine. That is how deep the ski laceration was.

"Based on the extent on the injury, he will need more surgery down the line."

Svindal lost his balance and wiped out in a dip on the lower portion of the Birds Of Prey course, which is considered tricky.

Svindal landed hard on his neck and back, and wound up cut by the sharp edges of his skis as he careened into the safety net.

"He is really beaten up, but pretty positive," Norwegian coach Marius Arnesen said.

"He is pretty puffed up, his eye is really swollen up," observed U.S. skier Bryon Friedman, who visited Svindal on Wednesday.

Svindal took the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria, and last Sunday's super-G at Lake Louise, Alta.

With files from the Associated Press

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