VAIL, Colo. -- Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn has made sufficient progress in rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery to be cleared for training on snow, and she leaves Friday for a training camp in Portillo, Chile.

Vonn blew out her right knee racing super-G in February at the world championships. After a training session Wednesday in the gym at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Vonn said the strength in her right knee has been measured at 98 percent of the strength in her left knee.

She said she hasn't had to ice her knee in a month and a half, another sign that her recovery is going well, and she believes she can be ready to compete in World Cup races at Beaver Creek in December.

"I'm hoping that's the start of my season," Vonn said.

Vonn probably will start with free skiing in Portillo, but she is hoping to run some gates during her two-week stay. She will have to "negotiate" that with Dr. Bill Sterett, who performed her surgery in February.

"I asked him to come down," Vonn said. "So he's coming down, and will monitor me. I'm hoping to start training in a couple of days, but my expectations are sometimes a little out of whack."

After Portillo, Vonn is hoping for snow here in October. She would rather train in Colorado than go to Europe then.

"She's doing great, we are happy with the progress," said her trainer, Martin Hager. "Bill Sterett was very happy with her knee on Monday, and it looks good for starting ski training."



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