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Schruns, Austria (AP)--Austrian ski star Renate Goetschl had surgery on her knee and elbow after a high-speed crash and is expected to be out six months, missing the rest of the season.

Goetschl, who won a silver and bronze medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics, broke her lower left leg and tore tendons during Saturday's downhill and injured her left elbow.

The 26-year-old skier was flown from Lenzerheide, Switzerland, to Schruns for surgery later that day, the Austrian Ski Federation said.

Dr. Christian Schenk said the cartilage in her knee was preserved although it had been torn several times.

The crash came midway down the course, with Goetschl losing both skis. She twisted her left knee and skidded for almost 100 meters before stopping.

Goetschl, the 2000 World Cup overall champion, had until now not been seriously injured during her nine years on the World Cup circuit.

Before the crash, she was the only skier with enough points to challenge Germany's Hilde Gerg for the super giant slalom title. Gerg leads the discipline standings with 295 points followed by Goetschl with 210.

Six skiers can mathematically still overtake Goetschl for second place, including Italy's Karen Putzer, who took the Olympic bronze in the event behind champion Daniela Ceccarelli and runner-up Janica Kostelic of Croatia. Putzer is just 34 points behind Goetschl.

Before Saturday's crash, she also had a theoretical chance to recapture her 1997 downhill title.

Goetschl is second in the overall standings with 931 points, following compatriot Michaela Dorfmeister with 1,031 points. Sonja Nef of Switzerland is third with 804.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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