The two-time overall World Cup champion bruised her right shin in a slalom run Feb. 3 at a training camp in Austria and has been off the slopes since, she told Matt Lauer on Wednesday's Today show.
"It's essentially a deep muscle bruise so I have a contusion so the muscle is bleeding and it's really deep inside the muscle so I talked to my doctor ... and he said that it could take a couple of weeks before it's completely healed," she said.
Unable to walk at first, Vonn said she can walk "normally" now, but still cannot put on her boot without experiencing pain."When I tried my boot on, I was just standing in the hotel room barely flexing forward and it was excruciatingly painful and I've got to try to ski downhill at 75, 80 miles an hour with a lot of forces pushed up against my shin and I don't honestly know if I'll be able to do it," she said.The injury could be a devastating blow to Vonn, the most decorated female skier in U.S. history.The 25-year-old Vonn, who saw her medal hopes dashed in Torino after crashing in a training run, is the favorite in three of her five events and has been marketed by NBC as the face of the Winter Games. Vonn has already appeared in Sports Illustrated
in back-to-back issues, first as the cover girl for its Olympics preview and then in the new swimsuit issue. She said she decided to reveal the injury because of the expectations placed on her.
"I at least want people to know what's going on and if I don't perform well, why that is, but I can guarantee you that I'm going to do everything I can to be as ready as I can with this injury and still try to ski well," Vonn said.Coming into the Games with nine World Cup victories this season, Vonn said she was feeling healthy and was full of confidence after her last World Cup win Jan. 31. While she's fought through injuries in the past, Vonn said she's "a lot less sure" about this one.She plans to show up for the first training run Thursday and see how she feels. The first women's race is on Sunday."I don't know how it's going to be and I just have to take it day to day ... but I for sure will be racing," she said. "I'm going to push through it and I'm just going to do the best that I can."
Photo Credits: Chris Walter/WireImage.com; Bravo; Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images for TIME; Twitter/Today; NBC, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Mike Pont, WireImage