Gut set for Solden return alongside Vonn

Lara Gut will make her FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup comeback in Solden this weekend after recovering from the knee injury that ended her 2016-17 campaign early.

Gut, the 2016 overall champion, missed the final weeks of the season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in February.

The Swiss suffered the injury while warming up for the slalom run of the Alpine Combined in St Moritz, and she was airlifted to hospital.

Gut's return had been expected for the new World Cup campaign but not at the season-opener in Austria.

However, the 26-year-old has made a late decision to race in Saturday's giant slalom.

"Since my injury my primary goal was to come back strongly and not to put pressure on me," she said in a statement released by the Swiss Ski Team.

"That's why I never talked about Solden.

"Since September everything went according to plan and therefore I decided to start tomorrow.

"Sure, the preparations were different to than usual. Normally we had prepared ourselves a month before Solden.

"For me it is important to be at the start tomorrow to see how I and my knee are reacting to the race. This experience will help me through [the season]."

Gut is joined in Solden by reigning overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, the latter looking for an injury-free season as the Winter Olympics move into view.

"Plan as of right now is to start on Saturday, which I'm really excited about," Vonn said on Thursday.

"I just have to see what the conditions are like when I start.

"So, if they're not good and it's dangerous then I won't start, but otherwise, my plan is definitely to be racing."

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