As the first signs of snow arrived in Finland, Matti Lehikoinen reported excellent progress in his rehabilitation. Just 23 days following his crash and after undergoing a series of weekly x-rays, his vertebrae are "well-stabilized". Lehikoinen is walking around the house and is able to stand for 30 minutes at time. He is now only taking painkillers at night to sleep and friends and family are delighted with his recovery. The young downhiller crashed while filming with friends in Helsinki just three days after he signed with a new team for 2008.
"I really feel the difference every day," said Lehikoinen. "Last Sunday was probably one of my worst days, fighting the boredom and also trying to kick the pain killers, but since then, each day I have felt the progress. For example ... I have been able to cough without severe pain. And as for sneezing, I have sneezed twice since the accident and you just don't want to know what that was like. Normally you never remember sneezing, but those two bastards will stay with me forever.
Looking forward he said, "I will start working with my new Intense team on projects for next year which will help the time fly by." He will continue his recovery throughout the long Nordic winter and hopes to return at the opening downhill World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, next spring.