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Norway's Lasse Kjus out for the season after knee surgery

Norway’s Lasse Kjus out for the season after knee surgery{mosimage}Norwegian Lasse Kjus underwent a knee operation on Friday in Oslo, ruling him out for the rest of the World Cup season and ending his chances of a third overall World Cup title.

Kjus, 33, second in the overall World Cup standings behind Austria’s Benjamin Raich, had surgery on a torn ligament in his right knee. “It’s a bit of a pity but it could have been worse,” Kjus told a news conference at an Oslo clinic after walking in on crutches from the operating theatre. “I’m feeling a bit groggy.”

Kjus, who won the overall World Cup title in 1996 and 1999, hurt his knee after landing a jump in a downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Saturday, two days after winning a downhill on the classic Austrian course.

After feeling pain in training on Thursday, he pulled out of races this weekend in Germany and returned to Oslo with a subsequent diagnosis showing the injury to be worse than first thought.

“Now I’ll try to get the knee to work again, use a bit of time to see what’s needed. … I’ve just come out of the operating room and am not thinking clearly yet. Give me a bit of time,” Kjus said in response to questions about when he would be back on skis.

The Norwegian has had a career blighted by injuries but his overall haul of 11 world championship medals is a record only matched by Marc Girardelli.

In the 1999 world championships, Kjus grabbed five medals in five disciplines, winning golds in the giant slalom and super-G and silvers in the downhill, slalom and combined.

His main Norwegian rival, Kjetil Andre Aamodt, is also out of the World Cup circuit this season after breaking an ankle in October last year.

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