SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russia's prime minister told skicross racer Maria Komissarova on Sunday millions of her compatriots were behind her as she battles to recover from a broken back at the Winter Olympics.
The 23-year-old's condition was still serious but stable after a more than six-hour operation on Saturday to insert a metal implant in her spine. Surgeons said they would not know how successful the operation was for three or four days.
"Millions of Russian fans are sincerely worried about you and hope that the doctors will do all they can to restore your health and the ability to play sport," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in a telegram to Komissarova.
"You are a strong person and I am sure that the Olympic spirit, perseverance and dedication will help you cope with this difficult situation," said Medvedev, a former president.
Komissarova suffered the injury during training on Saturday at the PSX Olympic skicross venue at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in the mountains above Sochi.
She was taken to a nearby hospital that was specially built for the Olympics, where she underwent surgery.
"Everything will be done to treat her as effectively as possible and for her rapid recovery," Russia's Freestyle Skiing Federation said.
"Maria Komissarova's condition, as before, is serious but stable. But the night passed satisfactorily."
President Vladimir Putin visited Komissarova on Saturday evening to wish her a rapid recovery and called her father by telephone after the skier told him he was extremely worried.
(Reporting By Timothy Heritage, editing by Ed Osmond)