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Reigning world champion Marlies Schild has begun slalom training again, as she battles to be fit in time to defend her title just two months after a knee injury.
The 31-year-old Austrian slalom queen, who has been chasing Swiss skier Vreni Schneider's all-time record of 34 World Cup wins in the discipline, has completed two slalom training runs with gates and was to pick up again on Saturday, the Austrian team announced.
"She's racing very well. The knee is posing fewer problems but she has had some twinges in her lower back," said Guenter Obkircher, the Austrian women's coach for the technical disciplines.
A four-time World Cup winner and Olympic silver medallist in slalom, Schild was feared out for the season and unable to compete in these world championships on home snow after tearing a ligament in her right knee during pre-race training in Are on December 21.
But the Austrian, who already came back from a broken left tibia and fibula in October 2008 to win the World Cup slalom trophy in 2011 and 2012, surprised everyone by getting back on her skis in late January.
Whether she attempts to defend her title in the February 16 slalom will be decided before Thursday, Schild's father told the daily Kronen Zeitung.
As reigning slalom champion, she automatically qualified to take part in the world championships in Schladming.