Injured Rahlves still hopes to compete

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- In 2002, after dislocating his right hip for the third time in his career, U.S. Olympic skier Daron Rahlves spent two months recovering.

This time, he is measuring his recovery in weeks.

Rahlves, 36, was injured in a crash during his opening skicross race at the Winter X Games on Jan. 31, just days after he was selected to represent the United States in the Olympic debut of skicross.

Competition begins Feb. 21 at Cypress Mountain. But Rahlves remains at home in Truckee, Calif., going through hours of therapy each day, hoping he can strengthen his hip enough to compete in his fourth Games.

"There is a glint of hope and a chance I could pull it off," Rahlves told The Associated Press by phone Friday. "It's pretty much going to come down to the day before."

Rahlves said this injury is not as bad as his previous dislocations and did no permanent damage to his muscles or ligaments.

Immediately after his release from the hospital, he began physical therapy and is currently doing daily sessions that last three to four hours.

He said he's also undergoing acupuncture and magnetic pulse therapy. Doctors are also injecting him with platelet-rich plasma, a product of his own blood that is said to aid in healing.

Nevertheless, Rahlves said he is still in pain from his lower back to his ankle.

"I know it's not going to be pain-free, but I can deal with pain," Rahlves said. "It's always a bad time to get hurt, but this is pretty much the worst."

Rahlves said he plans to get back on skis for the first time since the crash on Sunday at Sugar Bowl Mountain where he trains.

He plans to travel to Vancouver on Feb. 17 and do a training run on the course at Cypress Mountain two days later.

Rahlves made a name for himself in Alpine skiing, where he won 12 World Cup titles but never an Olympic medal.

That medal was thought to be in reach before the injury hit. It might still be.

"I'm not counting it out," Rahlves said. "But, I'm not 100 percent saying I am doing it, so I don't have all those expectations get crushed if I find out I can't compete."