Less than two weeks after reconstructive right knee surgery in February 2013, Lindsey Vonn already said she was “really looking forward to Sochi” and defending her Olympic downhill gold medal.

Along the way to the next Winter Games, though, Vonn began facing more setbacks. In the end, it was too much, even for Vonn, the most accomplished U.S. ski racer in history. Vonn announced Tuesday — one month before the opening ceremony — she won’t be able to race in Russia.

In a Facebook posting, Vonn said she is “devastated” to miss the Olympics, “but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”

Lewis Kay, her personal publicist, said in a statement the 29-year-old from Vail, Colo., will have knee surgery again “shortly.”

“She’s come back. She’ll be back,” said Vonn’s father, Alan Kildow. “You’ll see a lot of Lindsey Vonn in the future.”

Vonn left the 2010 Vancouver Games with two medals: the first Olympic downhill gold for an American woman, and a bronze in the super-G. She is also a four-time overall World Cup champion — and Tiger Woods’ girlfriend.

Add it all up, and she would have been the focus of plenty of media coverage in Sochi and a main character in NBC’s coverage.

  • Two-time figure skating medalist
  • Nancy Kerrigan
  • will work for NBC in Sochi, 20 years after she was the story of the 1994 Games because of the rivalry with
  • Tonya Harding
  • that turned violent. NBC said Kerrigan will contribute to figure skating coverage as an analyst but won’t do color commentary on the competitions.

Maddux awaits Hall vote

NEW YORK — Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux won’t be a unanimous selection for the Hall of Fame today.

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com says the only player he voted for was Jack Morris. The pitcher is on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for the 15th and final time after falling 42 votes shy last year.

Gurnick said he excluded “everybody from the Steroid Era.”

Maddux is among three stars on the ballot for the first time with ex-Braves pitcher Tom Glavine and White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Holdovers include Craig Biggio, who topped voting at 68 percent last year, when the BBWAA failed to elect anyone for only the second time in four decades. Maddux, a 355-game winner, could break Tom Seaver’s record of highest vote percentage of 98.84 set in 1992.

  • The Diamondbacks said Tucsonans will receive 50 percent off all 2014 spring training games at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields at Talking Stick during a one-day offer Friday from 10 a.m. to midnight at www.dbacks.com/spring. A promotional code PIMA50 must be used with a Pima County zip code to buy the tickets. Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday.
  • Oakland right-handed reli
  • ever
  • Jesse Chavez
  • reached agreement on a $775,000, one-year contract to stay with the Athletics.
  • Ex-All-Star catcher
  • Ramon Hernandez
  • , 37, with the Dodgers last year, agreed to a minor-league contract with Kansas City.

Schumacher wife speaks out

GRENOBLE, France — Michael Schumacher’s wife says the racing legend’s family wants to be “left alone” as doctors treat him after a brutal ski crash.

Corinna Schumacher spoke out Tuesday for the first time since her husband’s Dec. 29 accident in the French Alps, when he was placed in a medically induced coma with a head injury. In a statement, she said, “It’s very important to me that you ease the burden on the doctors and the hospital so that they can do their work in peace.”

  • In soccer, Manchester United slumped to a third straight loss for the first time in nearly 13 years when last-place Sunderland added to manager
  • David Moyes
  • ’ woes by winning the first leg of a League Cup semifinal 2-1 Tuesday. … Star
  • Lionel Messi
  • is set to return from a two-month hamstring injury layoff after being cleared by Barcelona team doctors for the Copa del Rey match against Getafe today.
  • A handcuffed
  • Jerry Sandusky
  • testified by video link for nearly three hours Tuesday as Pennsylvania’s public pension agency considered the former Penn State assistant football coach’s request to restore retirement benefits canceled because of his child molestation conviction. … The school must become involved in a lawsuit filed by
  • Joe Paterno
  • ’s family and others against the NCAA for parts of it to proceed, a state judge ruled Tuesday. The suit seeks to void a consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State over the Sandusky scandal, which imposed a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on postseason play and other penalties.
  • The Pima College track and cross country teams will host The Sun Run at Reid Park on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Registration for the 5K and 10K races are at azroadrunners.org/races/detail/sun_run.

Includes material from news releases