The reigning FIS World Cup giant slalom champion Eva-Maria Brem is set to miss the rest of the 2016-17 season after breaking her leg in training.
Brem could only manage a distant 26th from the opening event of the season on home soil in Solden last month.
And the Austrian, voted her country's sportswomen of the year for 2016, will now be unable to defend her crown after suffering a serious injury in a training fall.
"Both the tibia and the fibula are broken, which requires a surgical intervention to stabilise the bones and facilitate the healing process," doctor Christian Hoser was quoted as saying by the International Ski Federation (FIS) website.
"Brem will be sidelined for four to six months."
In Brem's absence, the second round of the new season will take place in Levi, Finland, next weekend.