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Cousineau leads Canadians at worlds

Kucera injures leg again, goes back into surgery

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The giant slalom also took place on the final weekend. The men's team didn't qualify any racers in the event, and is struggling to put together a World Cup team thanks to injuries to national team skiers like Francois Bourque and Jean-Philippe Roy.

Ted Ligety of the U.S. took the gold medal, followed by Cyprien Richard of France and Philipp Schoerghofer of Austria.

The Canadian women, by contrast, has a solid team of newcomers in giant slalom, and three managed to place in the top 30 - Marie-Michele Gagnon in 23rd, Marie-Pier Prefontaine in 24th and Whistler's Britt Janyk in 28th.

"It was not a good day but there are a lot of positives we can take forward," said Jim Pollock, the ladies' technical head coach. "We have the raw material that we need to win but we need a little more polish and more hard work."

Tina Maze of Slovenia was golden, followed by Federica Brignone of Italy and Tessa Worley of France.

The other headline for the national team last week was the re-injury of John Kucera.

Kucera, the 2009 downhill champion, was at the U.S. Nationals as a forerunner while he continued to rehabilitate himself from a tibia break at the start of the 2009 season.

He reinjured the tibia during a run and was rushed back to Calgary for surgery.

Despite the fact that he has not raced in over a year, Kucera remains as committed as ever to his return to racing.

"I'm kind of shocked," he said. "It's a bad luck situation - my ski just popped off.

"The injury is not nearly as severe as last time. I'm going to stay focused on coming back as soon as I can."

Dr. Stephen French, the medical co-director for Alpine Canada Alpin, said; "He is recuperating and looking forward to his rehabilitation in a very positive mind frame. He had been in absolutely tremendous shape just prior to the injury and this will serve him well in his rehabilitation."

The Canadian Alpine Ski Team has been reeling from injuries. The list of athletes on the sidelines also includes Kelly VanderBeek (left knee), Manuel Osborne-Paradis (left leg and left knee), Francois Bourque (left knee), Robbie Dixon (concussion), Louis-Pierre Helie (concussion), Larissa Yurkiw (left knee), Jean-Philippe Roy (right knee) and Kelly McBroom (fractured left tibia). Jan Hudec is currently skiing with a broken hand, while downhill world champion Erik Guay missed a pair of races with a sore back.

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