Kostelic May Postpone Comeback

Eberharter, Miller, Maier Podium

Zagreb, Croatia, Oct. 30, 2001 (AP)--World Cup champion Janica Kostelic might postpone her comeback from knee surgery and miss the North American leg of the women's races.

``We may have rushed her rehabilitation before and so we are being terribly cautious this time,'' Vedran Pavlek, the head of the Croatian ski federation, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Kostelic won the overall title last year at 19. She was to return to the slopes and the World Cup at Aspen, Colo., on Nov. 22-24 and then compete at Lake Louise in Canada on Nov. 29-30.

In the worst-case scenario, Kostelic would make her comeback in France at Val d'Isere on Dec. 5-17, Pavlek said.

Kostelic underwent her third operation of the year in late September to remove cartilage from her left knee. Although her doctors predicted she could be back as early as the start of the season last weekend, Pavlek said she would not resume training until Monday.

``Janica is desperately keen on skiing at least the slalom in Aspen,'' Pavlek said. ``But she still has minor twinges of pain and we won't know anything for certain until she straps on her skis on Monday.''