VanderBeek returns to World Cup circuit

Kelly Vanderbeek on a run during the women's super-G race at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games...

Kelly Vanderbeek on a run during the women's super-G race at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games in San Sicario, Italy, Feb. 20, 2006. (Reuters file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

Veteran skier Kelly VanderBeek aims to return to the World Cup circuit this weekend after a breakthrough in her recovery from a long-term knee injury.

The 29-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., hasn't skied competitively since she hurt her left knee in December 2009, and she has had to overcome several setbacks since.

But now VanderBeek feels ready to test it in race conditions. She plans to head to St. Moritz, Switzerland this week and if all goes well in training, she will race in the World Cup downhill Saturday.

"I'm pretty excited. More than anything, I'm happy with how my knee is doing," said VanderBeek, who lives in Chilliwack, B.C. "I can ski three days in a row and my knee isn't huge and swollen. Before Christmas I couldn't do that. I'm just so glad to see that it took another step forward."

VanderBeek, who has three World Cup podiums and finished fourth in the super-G at the 2006 Olympics, is the most experienced member of a young Canadian women's squad. Her presence would be a boost for a team that recently celebrated the return of VanderBeek's teammate and rehab buddy, Larisa Yurkiw, 23, of Owen Sound, Ont.

VanderBeek suffered fractures and torn ligaments in 2009 in a crash at Val-d'Isere, France.


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