Maier Unlikely To Get to Salt Lake

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Vienna, Austria, Dec. 12, 2001 (AP)--Hermann Maier sees little chance of recovering in time from a broken right leg to ski at the Winter Olympics.

The Austrian great now says he would be satisfied if he were able to compete in a World Cup race before the end of the season.

Maier was injured during a motorcycle accident in August. His doctors have taken a cautious stand about his ability to race in Salt Lake City in February.

``It is not that I am saying that it won't happen, but the chance is very, very small,'' Maier said Wednesday from the Austrian team's training center at Obertauern.

Maier expressed frustration with the pace of his recovery.

``It's going slower than I expected,'' he said. ``When you've won two gold medals and were right on the top, you've got to have the chance to get back there again. Otherwise it all doesn't seem to make much sense.''

Surgeons pinned Maier's leg with a titanium rod and performed a skin graft on the shin, where the edge of his ski boot would go. He still feels pain in that area.

He also has lost some feeling in his left leg because of a pinched nerve and is trying to regain muscle bulk in the limb.

Maier dominated the World Cup in recent seasons and won two gold medals at the Nagano Olympics.