Short track skater Celski to begin rehab

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Short track speedskater J.R. Celski is expected to have a fast recovery and resume training for the Vancouver Olympics after cutting his left leg in a racing accident.

U.S. Speedskating spokeswoman Peri Kinder said Celski was set to meet with Dr. Eric Heiden on Wednesday to develop a rehabilitation program.

Celski returned to Salt Lake City, where he trains with the national team, on Tuesday from Marquette, Mich., site of the short track national championships.

Heiden became an orthopedic surgeon after winning five gold medals in long track speedskating at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

"They seem very optimistic that he'll have a fast recovery," Kinder said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Celski, a 19-year-old skater from Federal Way, Wash., crashed in the semifinals of the 500 meters Saturday night. His right skate blade sliced into his upper left leg, spilling blood and requiring surgery.

Maria Garcia, a 2006 Olympian from Carson, Calif., who didn't qualify for the Vancouver Games, crashed into the boards in her 500 semifinal heat earlier that night. She was hospitalized and later released. Kinder said she is doing well.

The U.S. skaters who qualified for the Olympics are in Beijing, China, for a World Cup meet beginning Thursday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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