Mayer aiming to return next season


Matthias Mayer is targeting a return to action for the 2016-17 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, having undergone surgery following a season-ending crash in Val Gardena.

The 25-year-old was initially expected to be out for four weeks with a fractured thoracic vertebra suffered when he lost control over a jump and landed heavily on his back, but it was then revealed he needed surgery to bolt together the fifth to eighth vertebras.

A period of rest following the procedure is the immediate focus for the 25-year-old, but he hopes to return in time for next season.

"I am basically doing very well. I will walk around a bit, nothing else goes yet. The fractures will only heal when I rest," Mayer said.

"When the others have the end of the season, I hope to have the metal in my back removed and be able to start training again."

An investigation was conducted into the Olympic champion's crash and found his injuries were not made more serious because he was wearing a safety airbag.

Mayer agrees with the outcome and said he would have no problem with using the device again.

"I have collected precise feedback on the crash. You have to say, no system can protect you from such a very nasty crash. It was flat, even slightly uphill terrain," he continued.

"You can't blame the air bag [for the injury]. I think I will wear the air bag again. There is no reason why I shouldn't. I don't feel like a guinea pig for a new system."

The Austrian hopes to take inspiration from two-time overall world champion Aksel Lund Svindal, who missed the 2007-08 and 2014-15 campaigns through injury but made successful comebacks.

"Aksel had to skip a whole season twice and he came back very strong each time," Mayer added.