Alpine skiing-Schild will defend slalom world title

SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Austria's Marlies Schild will defend her slalom world title in Schladming on Saturday, two months after a serious knee injury, the Austrian ski team said on Wednesday.

"Thumbs up! Marlies will be at the start in Schladming," the women's ski team said on their Facebook page.

"It's a great gift to be able to go," Schild herself said.

The 31-year-old skier, winner of 33 slaloms, had looked almost certain to miss the defence of the world crown she won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen two years ago when she tore knee ligaments ahead of a World Cup slalom in Are, Sweden, on Dec. 20.

Her recovery was swifter than expected, however, and she made it back on to her skis in the week before the Alpine ski world championships began on Feb. 5. (Reporting by Manuele Lang; Editing by Clare Fallon)