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Thompson sidelined after knee injury

World Cup leader recovering after surgery

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Ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson won't have the chance to defend her Crystal Globe.

The 22 year old injured her meniscus during the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships in Kreischberg, Austria on Jan. 25. Thompson's right ski was clipped by a rival and she crashed in the semi-final. She pondered racing in the small final, but opted not to as a precaution, taking the eighth-place showing.

"A girl landed on my ski coming off of a jump and there wasn't really anything I could do about it and then I crashed into the fences," Thompson said. "I still haven't really seen it. I haven't watched it on the video or anything so I don't really know. It's just what people have been telling me, it happened way too fast for me to even realize what happened."

Thompson made it down the mountain with a sore knee and saw her physiotherapist on-site before being re-assessed by a doctor.

Her meniscus "pulled off" from the tibia on the outside — an injury she was told is "rare" — and doctors surgically reattached the root of the meniscus back onto the tibia on Jan.29.

Thompson met with Dr. Sally Clark of Sea to Sky Orthopaedics in Squamish for a consultation two days beforehand and was glad to have the procedure done quickly as she aims for a quick return.

"I'm in my brace for the next six weeks and on crutches to let everything heal," she said. "From there, I can look to getting back to training and strengthening the leg back to health.

"They are kind of just guessing, but three months seems like that would be when I can ski."

However, with the World Cup season wrapping in just over a month, Thompson's dominant three-for-three performance and perfect 300 points are unlikely to hold up when the season wraps in Megeve, France on March 14.

Fellow Canadian Georgia Simmerling would be next in line for the crown, sitting second with 205 points, but she was bitten by the injury bug the same day as Thompson, crashing in training and, according to a post on her Facebook page, breaking her wrist in six places.

In the face of major disappointment during the strongest stretch of her prolific career, Thompson is doing her best to remain positive as she recovers here in Whistler.

"I think it's just my personality. There's no point in dwelling on it, it happened, it's over," she said. "It's time to move on and move forward."

Thompson, who said this is the first major injury she's suffered, expects to make a full recovery and returm for the 2015-16 season.

"They haven't given me any indication that I can't get back to that," she said. "Once I'm allowed to start lifting again and getting all my strength back, that's what I'm going to think about.

"Everyone seems to think I'll make a full recovery and ideally be back skiing next winter."

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