Season over for Austria's Reichelt, career at risk after knee injury

Reichelt was airlifted to hospital after falling in the men's downhill in Bormio

Veteran alpine skier Hannes Reichelt has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious right knee injury in the World Cup downhill in Bormio, the Austrian ski federation confirmed on Sunday.

"The season is over prematurely for Reichelt," the Austrian team said in a statement.

The 39-year-old former super-G world champion's career now looks over as it was confirmed he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and damage to the outer capsular ligament.

Austrian Reichelt, who finished 12th in the first downhill on the 'Stelvio' piste on Friday, fell just 45 seconds into the second downhill on Saturday and had to be airlifted by helicopter after crashing into the safety netting.

He underwent an MRI scan and was later operated on in a clinic in Innsbruck, Austria.

During his 18-year career Reichelt has won 13 World Cup races -- six downhill, six super-Gs and a giant slalom -- and stood on the podium 44 times.

He won twice on the Stelvio, the super-G in 2008 and downhill in 2012.

His last World Cup win was the super-G in Aspen, Colorado in March 2017, and last podium third place in the Kitzbuehel downhill in January 2018.

Reichelt was airlifted to hospital after falling in the men's downhill in Bormio.