Clijsters receives positive MRI
SYDNEY, Australia -- Finally, some good medical news from the Australian Open: Kim Clijsters' hip injury is not as bad as first thought and she hopes to play in the season's first Grand Slam event.
Clijsters withdrew from her quarterfinal at the Sydney International on Wednesday after hurting her left hip during warmups.
"I had an MRI scan and it's shown I have an inflammation of the hip joint and tendon," the No. 2-ranked Belgian said in a statement. "The good news is that there is no tear of the muscle. In the next couple of days I'm going to receive more treatment and do some stabilization exercises. At that point I'll have a better idea of my condition."
Paul McNamee, chief executive of the Australian Open, likes what hears, with the tournament to start Monday.
"I believe she's OK, so that's great news for us," McNamee said. "At this stage, she's playing."
That's a welcome change for McNamee. In the past week he's been on the receiving end of withdrawal messages from three top men -- defending champion Marat Safin, French Open winner Rafael Nadal and four-time Melbourne winner Andre Agassi.
Clijsters, who won her first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open last September, said she had back problems since flying to Australia from Hong Kong last weekend.
"It's terrible," Clijsters said Wednesday. "My back has been bothering me the last few days, so I don't know if that had something to do with it -- maybe compensating for my back, maybe pushing. I don't know."
The injury occurred with Clijsters' first serve during a warmup for her match against Italy's Francesca Schiavone.
Clijsters returned to competition last year following left wrist surgery and also had to fight back from a right knee strain during 2005 to win a tour-leading nine titles.