MAIER BROKE HIS RIGHT leg when he swerved into a ditch Friday evening to avoid colliding with a car that turned in front of him. In addition to causing the complex open leg fracture, the accident damaged so much muscle tissue that he risked kidney failure, Dr. Arthur Trost told Austrian state radio Saturday.

Maier was flown from the ski resort of Radstadt to a hospital in Salzburg, where he underwent several hours of surgery.

It is unlikely that the reigning World Cup champion will be able to compete in the Salt Lake City Olympics, an attending physician told state television ORF, adding that it was too early to draw a firm conclusion.

Maier also suffered lacerations and lost two teeth in the accident, the Austria Press Agency reported.

(credit: Associate Press)