FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Kostelic skiing again, but won't return to World Cup any time soon

Kostelic skiing again, but won’t return to World Cup any time soon{mosimage}World Cup overall champion Janica Kostelic has resumed light skiing after a health scare in November but there are no immediate plans for her return to racing, a Croatian team spokesman said on Tuesday.

Kostelic, a triple Olympic gold medalist in 2002, has been ordered to rest after being diagnosed with thyroid problems. One team doctor even said extra physical strain might endanger her life — a claim she has strongly denied.

“Janica is skiing recreationally,” said Ozren Mueller. The Croatian team is currently training at a glacier in Austria. “She goes down several gates and leaves the slope. I want to make it perfectly clear that she is not training or preparing for return to the World Cup.”

Kostelic, who won two golds last season at the world championships as well as her second overall World Cup title, had four operations on her right knee in 2003.

“She will be at Alta Badia and Madonna (di Campiglio), but only as a spectator, supporting the team. Her participation in the race is out of the question,” said Mueller, denying a newspaper claim that Kostelic would enter the slalom in Italy this weekend.

The Croatian, whose career has been plagued by injuries, won three golds and a silver at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

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