Top Skier Maier Undergoes Surgery

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Salzburg, Austria Aug. 25, 2001 (AP)--Olympic and World Cup champion skier Hermann Maier was in stable condition Saturday after seven hours of surgery for injuries from a career-threatening motorcycle accident.

Maier broke his right leg when he swerved into a ditch to avoid colliding with a car that turned in front of him Friday. The Austrian skier was flown from the ski resort of Radstadt to a hospital in Salzburg.

Maier also had cuts and muscle tissue damage, and lost two teeth in the accident.

Doctors put Maier's broken bones back into position and secured them with pins. Paint chips were found inside the wound and bone, raising concerns that the leg might become infected.

Kidney problems emerged during the surgery, the Austria Press Agency reported.

Maier was sad and depressed when he woke up after surgery, Dr. Arthur Trost said Saturday.

It is unlikely Maier will be able to compete in the Salt Lake City Olympics, an attending physician told state television ORF.

A senior physician, Dr. Alois Karlbauer, said the accident threatens Maier's career.

``I can seriously not say'' whether Maier ever will be able to ski again, Karlbauer said.

Maier, who won the World Cup last season and in the 1997-98, was in top form before the accident. He was scheduled to defend his gold medals in the super-G and giant slalom in the upcoming Olympics.

Nicknamed the ``Herminator,'' Maier tied Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark's single-season record of 13 World Cup wins at Are, Sweden, in March.

Maier dominated the final week of the season, winning four of his last five starts in Norway and Sweden.

With 41 wins, Maier moved past Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland and is fourth on the World Cup list headed by Stenmark with 86 wins (46 GS, 40 slaloms).

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

Salzburg, Austria Aug. 25, 2001 (AP)--Olympic and World Cup champion skier Hermann Maier was in stable condition Saturday after seven hours of surgery for injuries from a career-threatening motorcycle accident.

Maier broke his right leg when he swerved into a ditch to avoid colliding with a car that turned in front of him Friday. The Austrian skier was flown from the ski resort of Radstadt to a hospital in Salzburg.

Maier also had cuts and muscle tissue damage, and lost two teeth in the accident.

Doctors put Maier's broken bones back into position and secured them with pins. Paint chips were found inside the wound and bone, raising concerns that the leg might become infected.

Kidney problems emerged during the surgery, the Austria Press Agency reported.

Maier was sad and depressed when he woke up after surgery, Dr. Arthur Trost said Saturday.

It is unlikely Maier will be able to compete in the Salt Lake City Olympics, an attending physician told state television ORF.

A senior physician, Dr. Alois Karlbauer, said the accident threatens Maier's career.

``I can seriously not say'' whether Maier ever will be able to ski again, Karlbauer said.

Maier, who won the World Cup last season and in the 1997-98, was in top form before the accident. He was scheduled to defend his gold medals in the super-G and giant slalom in the upcoming Olympics.

Nicknamed the ``Herminator,'' Maier tied Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark's single-season record of 13 World Cup wins at Are, Sweden, in March.

Maier dominated the final week of the season, winning four of his last five starts in Norway and Sweden.

With 41 wins, Maier moved past Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland and is fourth on the World Cup list headed by Stenmark with 86 wins (46 GS, 40 slaloms).

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press