Frank N. Darras Comments on Lindsey Vonn’s Practicing so Soon After Her ACL Tear Two Weeks Ago
Two weeks ago, Lindsey Vonn suffered an ACL tear during a training run at Copper Mountain, Colorado, where she has been preparing for the Winter Olympics. The Sochi Olympics are less than 3 months away and it is still unknown whether she will be able to compete. Vonn previously injured the same leg last February, while participating in the World Championships in Austria (LA Times, Lindsey Vonn has partial ACL tear, November 20, 2013).
“She needs to rest for a few days and then will pursue aggressive physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete, after seeing how she responds to the treatment,” says Vonn’s publicist Lewis Kay (NBC News, U.S., World Ski Champ Vonn has Torn ACL).
The AP reported that just days after partially tearing a reconstructed ligament in her right knee, the reigning Olympic downhill champion put in three super-G training runs with hopes of competing next week at Lake Louise, Canada. But some say Vonn shouldn’t push so soon, especially with the Sochi Games not until February. (AP, Lindsey Vonn pushing return to slopes after latest knee injury, November 29, 2013)
“Athletes like Lindsey Vonn have a high chance of injury because of the intense nature of skiing. Many pro-athletes have had serious ACL injuries in a variety of sports and it can spell disaster for their careers. As the lawyer who sees more individual disability insurance cases in a month than most lawyers see in a lifetime, I suggest the wisest investment for athletes training or competing in high-level sports is a rock-solid private individual disability insurance policy. These policies cover the loss of income and/or endorsements should an athlete suffer a disabling injury,” says Frank N. Darras.
“Highly demanding sports, require coverage that protects an athlete’s future and earning ability. One wrong move or slip could be the death knell for champions and rising stars,” says Darras.
A torn ACL never is the same and requires surgical reconstruction, which can take an athlete out for an entire season. If Vonn has surgery, it could cause her to be sidelined for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends skiers properly prepare if they plan on becoming involved in the sport. They advise maintaining constant awareness of their surroundings, proper equipment and maintenance of that equipment to help reduce the percentage of severe injuries.
“Skiers are particularly vulnerable to a debilitating injury due to the fickle nature of the ski slope. Whether or not Vonn is advised to compete in the upcoming Olympics, I hope her agent has provided great advice and counsel on the importance of a private disability insurance policy. She has worked hard and with dedication to compete at the Olympic level, and I hope she not only gets well and can compete, I hope that no matter what happens, she has made the right decisions and protected her future,” says Darras, disability lawyer to the pros.