Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia breaks ankle in training
Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia has fractured her right ankle in training, delaying her start to the 2018-19 campaign.
The Italian fell in Hintertux, Austria, a week before the opening giant slalom of the season in Soelden.
The 25-year-old from Bergamo does not require surgery, but will have to take things steadily over the next four to six weeks while the bone heals.
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Goggia is quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying, "Obviously it forces me to change my goals that I have set myself, more for the short term than the long term.
"This is not an easy situation but it's quite a simple injury in that I just need to wait for the bone to heal naturally."
"I need total rest for five days and then I'll have to plan my rehabilitation in order to recover in the best possible way and in the right time. I need to be perfectly fit for when I put the boots back on."
Vonn saddened by rival's setback
As well as Soelden, Goggia will miss the speed openers at Lake Louise, Canada, at the end of November.
She also looks certain to sit out the St Moritz Super G and the downhill and Super G at Val d'Isere in early December.
Goggia had a superb 2018, winning downhill gold at PyeongChang and holding off Lindsey Vonn to claim her first World Cup downhill title.
Her absence improves Vonn's hopes of securing the five World Cup wins she needs to overtake Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record of 86.
But the American has expressed her disappointment at her friend's injury.
Giovanni Malago, President of the Italian Olympic Commitee (CONI), tweeted his support with a photo of him and Goggia after her success at PyeongChang.
His message reads, "You wrote the story which gave us unique emotions. You will amaze us again, coming back stronger than before. Forza Sofia Goggia, Italian sport is right by your side!"