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Janica Kostelic to Have Surgery

ZAGREB, Croatia, Jan. 19, 2004 (AP) -- Olympic champion Janica Kostelic plans to have surgery this week for her thyroid imbalance and will not ski this season.

She will be operated on in her hometown of Zagreb, Kostelic spokesman Vedran Pavlek told The Associated Press on Monday. He did not elaborate on her condition.

Kostelic, the defending World Cup champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was sidelined at the start of this season because of a knee injury. Her expected return last month was delayed after the thyroid disorder was discovered.

The 21-year-old Kostelic has had four knee operations in the past 10 months, most recently in October.

She became the first Alpine skier to win four medals at a single Olympics, taking three golds and a silver at the Salt Lake City Games.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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