OSLO, Norway (AP) — Olympic champion skier Hans Petter Buraas suffered a career-threatening neck injury in alpine training and has undergone an operation, his coach said Wednesday.

Buraas, 26, won the slalom gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

The Norwegian took what at first appeared to be a minor spill in training Sunday at the Juvass summer ski center in central Norway. He was taken to the hospital after complaining of neck pains and a loss of sensation in his arms.

He was operated on Tuesday at the National Hospital in Oslo for two dislocations in his neck. Doctors said it's too early to say whether he would fully recover.

"The operation was necessary because pressure in the nerves has reduced feeling in his arms. It is impossible, today, to say anything definite about the result of the operation. Only when the treatment is done in a couple of months will we know anything certain," team doctor Arne Aune said.

Alpine coach Atle Skaardal said Buraas was coming off a bump, lost his balance and fell.

"Unfortunately, the injury was much worse than originally believed," Skaardal said. "The most important thing now is to get Burre back on his feet and 100 percent recovered"