The moguls skiing GOAT will miss a World Cup event for the first time since 2009.
Canadian freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a spinal injury on Sunday during training in Finland.
The 28-year-old, who won moguls gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, was preparing for the Freestyle Skiing World Cup event in Ruka, when he fractured hisT4 and T5 vertebrae while landing a jump.
Kingsbury has not missed a World Cup competition since 2009, but will now sit out at least the first three events of the 2020-21 season. He is targeting a January 28-29 return at a couple of World Cups in Calgary
“My jump was good but I landed in the wrong place,” the four-time world champion said.
“Though I tried to protect myself, my back took the brunt of the impact. The good news is that the fractures are at the back of the mid-spine vertebrae, so no nerves were affected.”
"Right now, everyone told me the best thing I can do is rest," he said. "The back is not very fine. It's a little painful, but I'm in the process of healing already."
"It feels like I have a knife in my back. It's quite painful now." Kingsbury to CBC.
Quebec native Kingsbury is regarded as the best mogul skier of all time, having won seven World Cup moguls and overall titles.
He also holds the record for the most career World Cup moguls victories with 53, and is the first man to win both the moguls and dual moguls events at the world championships.
In addition to his Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang, he also won a silver at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
“It's a new challenge for me; I have experienced many challenges throughout my career, whether it be at the Olympics, the World Championships or the Crystal Globes - these are all challenges.
“I'm at home, and I was allowed to ride a stationary bike, so I'm going to do a little bit of it.”