Ivaca Kostelic to Miss Season

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ZAGREB, Croatia, Jan 28 2004 (AP) -- World slalom champion Ivica Kostelic of Croatia is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery Wednesday, one day after crashing in a World Cup race.

Kostelic tore knee ligaments and hurt his shoulder in a race at Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday, his spokesman, Ozren Mueller, said.

Kostelic had surgery at the Bruderholz State Hospital in Switzerland, and his knee was so badly torn that doctors had to transplant tissue from his quadriceps, the state-run news agency HINA said.

The 26-year-old Kostelic had a strong start in Tuesday's race in Schladming, Austria, but crashed and landed heavily on his hip and shoulder.

It took medics nearly 15 minutes to get Kostelic off the course.

Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press