- Bode Miller severes hamstring tendon in crash at World Championships in Colorado
- Miller, 37, had been in the middle of the day's fastest run before catching a gate and landing badly
- Picabo Street, 1998 Olympic champion, believes the injury may end Miller's career
(CNN)Could Bode Miller's career be over?
The US skier, a winner of four world titles alongside Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010, severed a hamstring tendon in a high-speed crash while racing at the World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Miller, 37, hooked his arm around a gate near the bottom of Thursday's super-G course and span awkwardly, slicing a gash through his leg on landing.
One of Miller's skis, both of which came off, may have caused the injury.
Racing for the first time since undergoing back surgery in November, Miller had displayed characteristic bravery in what was -- up to the crash -- the fastest run of the day.
"He was absolutely sending it top to bottom, putting down a run that inspires Americans, inspires the world," said US men's coach Sasha Rearick.
Within hours of the crash, surgeons were working to repair Miller's tendon.
"Feeling lucky since things could have been way worse," he tweeted.
TV analyst Brian Stemmle, a four-time Winter Olympian for Canada, tweeted this graphic image of Miller's leg.
Picabo Street, the 1998 Olympic super-G champion, feared the injury may end the legendary skier's career.
"We might have seen the last of Bode," Street said, according to the Denver Post.
"I think we've seen Bode Miller race for the last time. You know what? He was putting a beautiful run together and he did it in typical Bode style.
"It's been a beautiful career."
Austria's Hannes Reichelt went on to win the gold medal, ahead of surprise silver-medalist Dustin Cook of Canada.
Cook had never previously reached the podium at a top-level senior event.