Schmidhofer, who will be on crutches for another six weeks, is satisfied with the status quo. “Everything looks good, we are on the right track,” affirmed the 31-year-old. She is in no pain, the biggest problem is that it takes a lot of patience. “It is often not easy with me when I put something in my head and it seems to me that it is this and that and that, but medically it is simply not possible.” She spends a lot of time watching TV. Sport is mainly on the personal menu plan. “The worst was the first downhill training in St. Anton, and then of course the World Championships in Cortina.” But “I even watched the Super Bowl”.
Schmidhofer suffered a complicated dislocated fracture of the left knee joint in a fall on the World Cup downhill run in Val d’Isere on December 18, which tore all supporting ligaments. Since then, four operations have been carried out in Graz. “I already belong to the inventory on the ward,” joked Schmidhofer. Most recently, on March 1st, all metal parts were removed and both cruciate ligaments repaired arthroscopically. Trauma surgeon Mandl was “extremely satisfied” with the way things went. Until Easter recovery is now pending, a seam removal is planned for March 15, Schmidhofer’s 32nd birthday. How long she will stay in Tobelbad afterwards has not yet been determined.
“A possible minor operation cannot be ruled out in the event of such a serious injury. But we assume that Nici, as I got to know her, will do the rehab with relative determination,” said Mandl. The ÖSV physiotherapists should also be involved. If you look at the pictures of the accident, you have to be glad “that it turned out that way”. Because in a third of these injuries there is also damage to the vessels and nerve tracts. “Much more could have happened there,” explained Mandl, who described himself as the “mouthpiece” of the three-person medical team with Günter Kohrgruber and Johann Steinböck.
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Ski racer Schmidhofers begins Easter Tobelbad