Albrecht unsure about World Cup return

19th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht said Friday he was unsure about when to return after recovering from injury.

Lausanne -- Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht, who was kept in an artificial coma for three weeks after a horrific crash in 2008, said Friday he was unsure about when he would return to World Cup racing.

Albrecht, hesitant but smiling, told journalists that he had just taken a two-week break to rest his mind and body after weeks of intensive training with the Swiss team to get back to form.

"I trained so much recently, like never before," the former World Cup super-combined champion explained. "I think it would be really tiring for anyone to do that.

"It could be that it will take longer, and it could be that it won't work," he said when asked about his recovery schedule, insisting that he wanted to take his time.

The 26-year-old said in a newspaper interview in September that he was aiming for a comeback at the Austrian resort of Soelden on 25 October.

But while insisting he was not afraid and was probably in similar form to two or three years ago, Albrecht said that thinking of other injured athletes who returned too quickly to competition had given him new doubts.

Albrecht crashed after landing awkwardly from the final jump on the Kitzbuhel downhill run in January 2008, suffering brain trauma and lung damage.

"At the moment I'm very happy," he said. "It could have been really bad and (yet) I remained a normal person."

He said that it was more difficult to judge recovery from brain injury than from a more visible foot or knee injury. "It's hard to explain," he said.

While anxious to help Albrecht back to form, Swiss skiing officials hope the rest of the team, especially world champions Didier Cuche and Carlo Janka, can win four Winter Olympic medals.

"Didier Cuche is totally on top of things, he's amazing," said men's chief coach Martin Rufener.

"He is getting older and he is getting little things when he's overloading the training a bit, but he's in top shape," he added.

Thirty-five year-old Cuche, Janka, and overall World Cup title-holder Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway had done training runs together on a glacier at the Swiss resort of Saas Fee and exchanged fastest times, Rufener revealed.

But the world championship had given the veteran Cuche a huge boost, he added.

"With that behind him he's so confident," said Rufener.

The Swiss team is aiming for 20 medals in the World Cup, but officials said their top skiers aim to win at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and might settle for lower finishes in World Cup disciplines as a result.

AFP / Expatica

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