Randall suffered back injury on birthday but says she's 100 percent

Nathaniel Herz

Olympic medal hopeful Kikkan Randall suffered a strained disc in her lower back in late December, but she has since recovered, she said.

The Anchorage cross-country skier said she was swinging her arm to warm up her hands before a training session when she suffered the injury. She spent about two weeks recovering, with the help of an Anchorage physical therapist who was in Europe with the U.S. Ski Team.

"We were working on it every day, and now it's back to 100 percent," Randall said in an interview Monday. "It was a little bit scary there for a moment -- you never want to mess with your back -- but I was glad I could turn it around pretty quick."

Randall said the injury, reported Thursday by fasterskier.com, occurred on Dec. 31 -- her 31st birthday. Last weekend, she won a World Cup sprint race in the Czech Republic.

Randall is the gold medal favorite for this year's Olympic sprint competition, which will be held in Russia on Feb. 11.

-- Nathaniel Herz

Randall says her injured back is 100 percent