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Hosp ruled out as Kostelic on mend


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LONDON, England -- Austrian slalom specialist Nicole Hosp has been ruled out for the rest of the World Cup season after breaking her left ankle while jogging.

The 20-year-old, who has won two World Cup races this season, had surgery at a hospital in Innsbruck after slipping on ice.

There was better news of Croatia's skiing star Janica Kostelic, who has left hospital after successful surgery on her thyroid gland.

"Janica is fine and the doctors are satisfied. That's why they agreed to send her home to continue her convalesence," Croatian ski federation spokesman Ozren Muller said Tuesday.

The double World Cup champion has had several operations on her right knee in the past, including four in 2003, but those setbacks were overshadowed by the diagnosis of a serious thyroid problem last November.

Since the thyroid gland secretes hormones that control metabolism and body growth Kostelic would have to take hormonal therapy on a permanent basis.

Kostelic, dubbed the Snow Queen, became the first woman to take three alpine skiing gold medals at a single Winter Olympics. She won the slalom, giant slalom and combined events in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Hosp, who finished third in Saturday's World Cup slalom in Maribor, Slovenia lies third in the World Cup slalom standings behind Sweden's Anja Paerson and fellow Austrian Marlies Schild.

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