Lindsey Vonn's father, Alan Kildow, was commiserating over the phone Tuesday night with an old friend, former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Andy Mill of Aspen.
"I said, 'We both know the drill,' " Kildow said. "I've had four knee surgeries and he's had 12, I think. You get in the starting gate only so many times in downhill and speed events, and eventually the numbers catch up with you."
Vonn, 28, had never suffered a serious knee injury until Tuesday when she crashed landing a jump at 50-60 mph in a super-G at the world championships in Schladming, Austria. She was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a torn medial collateral ligament and a lateral tibial plateau fracture in her right knee.
In a statement released by her publicists Wednesday, Vonn said: "First off I want to say thank you to the amazing medical staff that cared for me. I plan on returning to Vail as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries. I am also grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive. I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi."
Kildow, reached in Minneapolis where he lives, said he was told his daughter plans to travel from Europe on Friday to have surgery Sunday in Vail, although he was hoping for final confirmation later Wednesday.
Kildow was comforted knowing that Bill Sterett of Vail, a team physician for the U.S.
"She's fine," Kildow said of his daughter's spirits. "Her sister Laura is there and Sterett is there. Sterett has treated her since she was 13 years old."
Sterett told The Associated Press on Wednesday, "She'll be heading back to Vail and I will be doing surgery on her knee early next week. ... Lindsey is doing well. She's in good spirits."
As to the broken bone, described as a lateral tibial plateau fracture, Sterett said, "The fracture is called an impaction fracture. It should not require any surgery. It just needs to be non-weight on crutches."
Sterett added that Vonn was "a little banged up, and sore everywhere. She's intently focusing on the next step and the next step now is getting from point A to point B, with point B being next season," he said. "She's determined and upbeat."
Sterett left open the possibility of Vonn requiring more than one surgery, saying that with these types of injuries "that's always a possibility."
However, the plan for now was only one operation.