PARIS (AFP) –
World slalom champion Jean-Baptiste Grange is on the verge of returning to full training as the Frenchman continues his comeback from a second knee operation last April, he confirmed Monday.
Grange who won the global crown in 2011, says he should be skiing on his home slopes at Tignes on Wednesday, the day of his 28th birthday, after a long battle back.
“I am almost ready and I now just want to think of skiing after a good week of preparation work,” explained Grange who was also World Cup slalom champion in 2009 and runner-up in 2011 before his last campaign last year was wrecked by injury.
“If the knee holds up, if the back holds up, after two days of open skiing, I can really look toward finding my form again”.
However, the beginning of the 2012-13 World Cup season is not a target for Grange, who will skip the opening races at Solden, Austria where a giant slalom will be held and will also miss the first slalom race at Levi, Finland on November 11.
“Ideally, it would be best to leave with the team for the American tour and make my comeback at Beaver Creek (giant slalom on December 2) but the objective for the first part of the season is to stay in the top 15 for the world championships at Schladming (Austria – Feb. 4-17, 2013), but it might be a year of transition,” he explained.