Hirscher needs 15 weeks to recover, missing ski season start

Alpine skier Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates a win by spraying champagne

VIENNA (AP) — Marcel Hirscher will need up to 15 weeks to recover from a broken left ankle, ruling the six-time overall World Cup champion out of ski racing likely until December.

The season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, is on Oct. 29. A start in the Nov. 12 slalom in Levi, Finland, is also doubtful, Hirscher’s doctor, Gerhard Oberthaler, tells the Austria Press Agency.

Oberthaler says, “If you have been in a cast for six weeks, your ankle is not immediately ready for ski training.”

The 28-year-old Hirscher damaged his ankle after straddling a slalom gate during practice on the Moelltaler glacier on Thursday. It was the Austrian’s first day back on snow while preparing for the new season, which also includes the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.