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Vonn hurts arm in giant slalom crash


Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. clears a gate during the first run of the women's giant slalom world cup race in Lienz December 28, 2009. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. clears a gate during the first run of the women's giant slalom world cup race in Lienz December 28, 2009. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

LIENZ, Austria (Reuters) - Alpine skiing World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn hurt her left arm after crashing in the first leg of a giant slalom in Lienz on Monday and may wear a splint if she competes in Tuesday's slalom.

"Nothing is broken but there are some microfractures in the arm," U.S. team spokesman Doug Haney said.

Vonn, winner of the overall World Cup for the past two seasons and the favorite in the speed events for February's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, lost her balance and fell on her right hip halfway through the morning run.

It took her some time to get back on her feet and she was seen holding her left arm on the side of the piste while stewards attended to her.

"It hurts in the left arm and hand," she told Austrian television before being taken to hospital for further examination where doctors found some swelling on her arm.

Vonn is scheduled to race in Tuesday's slalom on the same Schlossberg course but her husband, former ski racer Thomas Vonn, said she would decide shortly before the race whether to take part.

She will test whether she can compete with a splint -- which she did at the last world championships when she cut her thumb after opening a bottle of champagne.

"She will try to use the same strapping system as during the world championships. She doesn't know if it will hurt or not and will decide at the last moment whether to race," her husband told Reuters.

Vonn has always struggled in giant slaloms, the only discipline in which she has yet to win a World Cup race.

She did not lose any ground in the race for the overall crystal globe since closest rival Maria Riesch also failed to finish the first leg and did not score points.

(Reporting by Manuele Lang; Editing by Sonia Oxley)

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