Mikaela Shiffrin preparing to return from downhill crash at slalom race in Sweden this weekend

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Mikaela Shiffrin’s return from her downhill crash is still on schedule for this weekend in Sweden, though the American standout might only enter one of the two World Cup races at the resort in Are.

“Mikaela is improving in slalom and feels that the slalom race is still realistic, but the GS (giant slalom) is in question,” Shiffrin’s team said in a statement Monday. “We will share more in the coming days.”

The weekend’s action starts with a giant slalom on Saturday and is followed by a slalom on Sunday.

Shiffrin, who has a record 95 World Cup wins, has been out since she sprained the MCL and tibiofibular ligament in her left knee when she crashed in a downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in January. She was also still recovering from a bone bruise she had at the start of the season.

During her absence, Shiffrin has lost her lead in the overall standings. She now sits third with 1,209 points, behind Lara Gut-Behrami (1,594) and Federica Brignone (1,268).

In the giant slalom standings, Shiffrin has been mathematically eliminated from contention for the small crystal globe. She is fourth, 256 points behind Gut-Behrami, who leads those standings, too. Including the Are race, there are two GS events remaining this season. Wins are worth 100 points each.

Shiffrin still leads the slalom standings with 630 points, ahead of Petra Vlhova (505) and Lena Duerr (442). But since Vlhova is out for the season after tearing ligaments in her right knee in January, Duerr is the only skier still mathematically capable of overtaking Shiffrin.

Shiffrin needs only 12 points to lock up the slalom globe, so 19th place would be enough. Or Duerr not winning would hand Shiffrin the title, too.

After Are, there are only two more weekends of racing remaining this season: A weekend of tech races and a weekend of speed races at the finals in Saalbach, Austria.

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AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/alpine-skiing

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