Miller shoots for February, or no 2012 return at all

Marco Trovati/Associated Press file photo

Bode Miller and the U.S. Ski Team are eyeing a February return to the World Cup circuit. “Let’s train first. Step by step. The first step is to get on the skis, then the race skis, then train,” coach Sasha Rearick said.

By Andrew Dampf
AP Sports Writer

VAL GARDENA, Italy – Bode Miller likely won’t start his season until February as part of his cautious return from left knee surgery. There’s also a chance he might sit out the entire season.

Meanwhile, Miller is taking care of his new wife, who he hit in the eye with a golf ball Wednesday.

Miller’s knee first bothered him last winter when he was competing on an icy hill in Sochi, Russia, during a test race for the 2014 Olympics. He needed microfracture surgery, during which doctors also mended cartilage that’s hampered him since a crash in 2001.

U.S. Ski Team head coach Sasha Rearick said Miller is scheduled to fly to Europe in early January to begin training.

“Let’s train first. Step by step. The first step is to get on the skis, then the race skis, then train,” Rearick said. “I would love to have him race as soon as possible, but let’s look long-term. Let’s look ahead to Sochi; let’s look ahead to the (next) World Cup season.

Miller was planning to train more in Colorado this month, then plans changed.

“We decided to take a longer break and let the knee heal a little bit more,” Rearick said. “All the effects we’ve seen from the follow-ups with the doctors are all very, very positive. So let’s be real smart about it, let’s do it right, and right now we’re delaying his return because the healing process is going the right way.”

Meanwhile, Miller reported on Twitter on Wednesday about the accident involving his wife.

“Hit wife w golfball. (hash)worstfeelingever,” wrote Miller, with attached photos of his wife, pro volleyball player Morgan Miller, and her left eye completely closed and badly bloodied.

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