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Herminator Healing Well

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Radstadt, Austria Jan 8, 2002 (AP)–Hermann Maier’s injured legs showed improvement Monday, but it’s still unclear whether the Austrian skiing star will be able to compete in the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Maier broke his right leg and suffered nerve damage in his left leg in a motorcycle accident in August.

“The skin graft has healed well, the bone has regenerated well. For the moment, Hermann only has slight problems with his left leg,” Maier’s surgeon, Dr. Arthur Trost, told the Austria Press Agency on Monday.

Maier can now train harder, Trost said, but it’s unclear what the progress meant for Maier’s Olympic prospects. The “Herminator” won two gold medals in Alpine skiing in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Maier has undergone a grueling rehabilitation program since the motorcycle accident. After skiing downhill Dec. 21 for the first time since the accident, Maier said he was not ready to compete in Salt Lake City, but added, “never say never,” said his spokesman, Knut Okresek.

Peter Schroecksnagel, president of the Austrian Ski Federation, said the organization would wait until the last minute to determine whether Maier should be part of the Olympic team. The team must be named by Jan. 28.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press