LOS ANGELES - Lindsey Vonn, fighting to regain full fitness in time to defend her Olympic downhill title, next plans to race in the December 21 World Cup downhill at Val d’Isere, France.

Vonn returned to competition last weekend at Lake Louise, Canada, where she showed steady progress over three races in her first starts since reconstructive surgery on her right knee after a crash at the World Championships last February. Vonn’s return to action was delayed by a week after she re-injured the knee in training in Colorado in November. At Lake Louise, Vonn was 40th in the first downhill, 11th in a second downhill and fifth in Sunday’s super-G.

“I know now that I can win and be on the podium,” Vonn said Sunday, adding that she didn’t yet know how many World Cup races she would contest in a season focused on her Olympic downhill defence in Sochi in February. The US ski team said in a statement posted on its website Wednesday that Vonn had elected to skip the super-G and giant slalom scheduled for the Swiss resort of St. Moritz on Saturday and Sunday.

The women’s World Cup will then head to Val d’Isere, for a downhill on December 21 and a giant slalom on December 22.

 Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, won World Cup downhill races at Val d’Isere in December 2005, December 2006, December 2010.