Nicole Schmidhofer is facing a prolonged absence after tearing knee ligaments ©Getty Images

Former super-G world champion Nicole Schmidhofer will miss the rest of the season and potentially the start of the next after doctors confirmed she has torn ligaments in her left knee.

Schmidhofer suffered a heavy fall at Val-d'Isère last Friday (December 18) and was sent careening through safety fencing.

The Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) said that Schmidhofer's injury is worse than first feared, and that a knee dislocation led to all of the ligaments in the left knee being torn.

Multiple operations are going to be needed to repair the damage.

"I want to go skiing again in eight, maybe 10 months," Schmidhofer said, according to the ÖSV.

"That is my pressure on the doctors."

Nicole Schmidhofer won the 2018-2019 downhill crystal globe ©Getty Images
Nicole Schmidhofer won the 2018-2019 downhill crystal globe ©Getty Images

The Austrian skier will turn 32 in March, and this could be a career-threatening injury.

Schmidhofer won the super-G race at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Ski World Championships in St Moritz in 2017.

A 12-time podium finisher on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup circuit, Schmidhofer won the downhill crystal globe two seasons ago.

Three of her four World Cup wins have come in downhill events, with the other was a super-G victory.