February 15, 2006

Skater Zhang strained ligament in fall

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Zhang Dan, who won a silver
medal after lifting herself up from a crashing fall in the
pairs figure skating to finish her program, has suffered a
ligament strain in her left knee, Xinhua news agency said.

"We took Zhang Dan to a local hospital and had a full
check-up," Xinhua quoted Ji Chunnan, a doctor in the Chinese
camp in Turin, as saying. "The result was quite optimistic.
There is a ligament strain in her left knee."

Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, contenders for the gold medal, won
silver on Monday when an attempted quadruple Salchow spin went

Zhang landed in the splits and had to stop. Five minutes
later the 20-year-old returned to the ice and continued to
skate, complete with twists and throws, to the delight of the
crowd who cheered her every move.

"There is still pain in my knee but I feel better now,"
Zhang Dan was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"The doctor advised me no walking for five days ... I hope
the injury will heal in time to compete at the 2006 World
Championships (March 20-26 in Calgary)."