After suffering an ankle fracture last month while skiing in Moelltaler, Austria, Marcel Hirscher has kept himself busy with rehab and has his eyes set on his eventual return to the World Cup.
Unfortunately, the Austrian superstar’s doctors have officially ruled out any chance of him making the start list at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 29. Hirscher shared in a press conference on Thursday that his earliest possible return to racing would be in Levi, Finland, for the slalom opener, although he admits that a start in Levi would only be possible “with a miracle.” A more realistic start to the six-time defending World Cup overall champion’s season would be at Beaver Creek, Colorado, at the end of Nov. provided there are no additional setbacks.
Hirscher is no longer wearing a cast on his foot, but has no plans to return to snow before the end of October where he will aim to catch up on missed training time, particularly on the new 30-meter radius giant slalom ski.
“The development (of the new skis) is difficult for me to judge,” he says. “I can only rely on reports from teammates, not everyone is happy with it, but I have not heard anything from the international colleagues. That’s the way it is. If I can catch up with the missed training, it will be a challenge.”
Always the optimist, Hirscher reflected on how this injury actually gives him the opportunity to work on parts of his training that were being neglected by all of his time on snow.
“Maybe this injury was not so bad,” he concluded. “I spent the late summer at home and trained in the coordination area in things that were lacking before, even if it was sometimes more of a physiotherapy than training.”