KITZBUEHEL, Austria, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Slalom world champion Marlies Schild, out of action after injuring knee ligaments in Are in December, might be fit to defend her title in Schladming in nearly two weeks.

Austrian team director Hans Pum told reporters in Kitzbuehel that Schild was “training physically with the hope of racing in Schladming”.

The injury, in training before the Are slalom in Sweden on Dec. 20, had seemed to ruin the chances of the best slalom specialist in activity, who won the title in Garmisch-Partenkirchen two years ago.

While world championships berths in the Austrian slalom team are expected to go to Kathrin Zettel, Michaela Kirchgasser and Nicole Hosp, Schild has directly qualified as the defending champion.