Luck was not on the side of Germany’s Susanne Riesch, the younger sister of Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who made her return to the World Cup in Levi after sitting out more than two years of racing when she broke her leg and tore ligaments in her left knee in a downhill training crash in September 2011. Although she skied the first run of the World Cup slalom race in Levi, a crash in training for the event a few days before the race has ultimately warranted another knee surgery.
The arthroscopic left knee surgery, performed on Monday in Munich by team physician Dr. Ernst-Otto Muench, removed a torn portion of the lateral meniscus.
“The operation went well and was absolutely necessary, due to the constant pain under stress,” said Muench. “Assuming a favorable course of healing, training on snow in about three week’s time is possible,” he added.
Prior to Riesch’s injury in 2011, she had secured two World Cup podium results and numerous top-10 finishes. Riesch’s coach Thomas Stauffer looks forward to her return.
“I hope that Susanne recovers quickly, and after a successful rehabilitation can strengthen the team again,” he said.
Despite the setback, Riesch remains optimistic for the season and believes the surgery was required in order to trust the knee to respond in competition without pain. Her efforts to ski on it in Levi proved less than successful when she failed to qualify for the second run on the same hill where she placed fourth in 2010.
“My aim is to go to Courchevel again at the start,” remarked Riesch, referencing the World Cup slalom race in France on Dec. 17 where Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova also plans to return to competition following a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.