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Maier Can't Remember Accident

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Vienna, Austria Sept. 2, 2001 (AP)–Star skier Hermann Maier can’t remember details of the motorcycle accident that left him with a broken leg and put his career in jeopardy.

Maier, undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit of a Salzburg hospital, spoke to the media Sunday for the first time since his crash 10 days ago.

“The most important thing is that I am on the road to recovery and that I am alive,” Maier said, according to Austrian news agency APA.

Maier appeared shaken and tired as he spoke with Austrian national TV network ORF, his voice quavering.

“The first thing I can remember is waking up in Dr. Aufmesser’s surgery in Radstadt. That was the point where I realized that there were people there to take care of me,” Maier told ORF.

Maier collided with a car near the town of Radstadt, just south of Salzburg. Doctors pinned the broken leg with titanium pins and screws and performed a skin graft in surgery that lasted seven hours. His treatment since includes physiotherapy to try to curb the loss of muscle bulk.

Doctors have been reluctant to speculate whether Maier _ who won two gold medals at the 1998 Olympics and has won the overall World Cup title three times _ will be able to race again.

“When it is possible for me to make a comeback, then I’ll certainly be back as strong as I was before,” Maier said.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press