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Italian skier suffers setback on return after tumour operation

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Milan (AFP)

Alpine skier Elena Fanchini has suffered a setback on her return following a tumour operation, breaking her leg and a finger in training in Copper Mountain, the Italian Ski Federation (FISI) said on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old from Bergamo fell in training for the super-G in Colorado and suffered a broken finger, fractured fibula and severe left knee bruising.

Fanchini -- whose younger sisters Nadia and Sabrina are also elite skiers -- will return to Italy immediately for further tests, the FISI said.

She missed out on competing in a fourth consecutive Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after being diagnosed in January with a curable tumour.

Without giving further details, she was operated on in May and after undergoing treatment returned to the European slopes early in November.

"Putting skis on was a great emotion... my heart was bursting with joy," Fanchini posted on Instagram as she trained with the Italian team.

Fanchini won silver at the world championships in Bormio in 2005 and made four World Cup podiums, all in downhill, including two victories in Lake Louise, Canada in 2006 and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy in 2015.

She has, however, been plagued by injuries throughout her career, above all problems with her knees which she had said were like "glass".

Her injury is the second to hit the Italian women's team after Johanna Schnarf suffered a fractured tibia and fibula during giant slalom training in the Colorado ski resort.

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