08/21/2013 09:11 EDT | Updated 10/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian ski jumper Pretorius having surgery

Calgary teenager Alexandra Pretorius will undergo knee surgery on Wednesday in the hopes that she can be among the pioneering athletes to compete in the Olympic debut for women's ski jumping at Sochi.

Pretorius, 17, tore ligaments in her left knee earlier this month while training in Courchevel, France.

"At this point we are fully confident that she will compete in Sochi," said Ski Jumping Canada high performance director Curtis Rush, who described Pretorius as in good spirits given the situation.

Pretorius is expected to begin rehab immediately. The most optimistic date for a return to training is estimated at just over three months.

Women's ski jumping was approved by the International Olympic Committee for the Sochi programme in 2011. Previous attempts to get the sport included for the 2010 Vancouver Games were unsuccessful.

While not considered a medal favourite, Pretorius in the last 14 months has served notice on the international circuit that she has the potential to land on the Olympic podium.

She won a Grand Prix event on the very same hill in Courchevel in 2012, and racked up another victory in July in Hinterzarten, Germany.

Pretorius, who took up the sport at eight years old, finished 26th overall in the World Cup standings for the 2012-13 season.