View Full Version : Conflicting Reports Surround Severity Of Clijsters' Injury

Oct 4th, 2004, 07:40 PM
Conflicting Reports Surround Severity Of Clijsters' Injury
Photo By Susan Mullane By Adrianna Outlaw

Kim Clijsters' season is over and her competitive future may be in doubt. Recurring wrist pain in Clijsters' surgically-repaired wrist forced her to halt her comeback at the Gaz de France Stars in Belgium last week and will sideline the former No. 1 for the rest of the year. The tournament doctor said Clijsters' latest wrist injury "could mean the end of her career."

Tournament physician Bruno Willems provided a pessimistic prognosis for Clijsters' chronic left wrist injury.

"This injury can mean the end of her career," Willems told the publication De Morgen in comments reprinted by the Associated Press today. "Let's be straight: This is a drama for Kim. I hope she comes back, but I'm pessimistic."

In contrast, Clijsters' official web site Kim Clijsters (http://www.kimclijsters.com/), offers a more optimistic view of her latest injury, which an MRI revealed is most likely a damaged tendon or tendon sheath. According to Clijsters' web site, there are no immediate plans for surgery to correct the injury. She is scheduled to undergo further exams this week.

"This time, the problem is most likely the tendon of an important wrist extensor (extensor carpi ulnaris). Luckily, the tendon isn't severely damaged," Clijsters' web site states. "Possibly some filaments have come off, or the tendon sheath. Further examining over the next few days will give final proof. Ice, rest, inflammatory drugs and a brace (again) are probably the most important now. Further treatment will be discussed together with Kim's entourage and the wrist surgeons doctors Kinen and Verstreken. A new surgery is not being planned for the time being."

Given the fact Clijsters is right-handed it's difficult to imagine the injury to her left wrist would be career-threatening since she could conceivable switch from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed backhand.

The 21-year-old Belgian felt pain in her left wrist while hitting a backhand return against Russia's Elena Bovina in last week's semifinal. Clijsters called for the trainer midway through the opening set and received treatment on her wrist. The pain prompted Clijsters to use a one-handed backhand for the rest of the match. Bovina won the first set and the set was even at 2-2 when a visibly disappointed Clijsters was forced to retire.

The Australian Open finalist pulled out of Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open after developing a cyst on her left wrist. Clijsters underwent surgery to remove the cyst from her wrist on June 12th at Wilrijk hospital near Antwerp, Belgium.

Her surgically-repaired left wrist lacked its former flexibility during her tournament return last week and Clijsters reported her two-handed backhand was still a bit stiff prior to her match with Bovina.

"I am pretty tired," Clijsters said. "I don't manage to control the backhand completely because it is a bit stiff still," she wrote. "The wrist itself is even less flexible, even after an extended warm up. ... My service and forehand are OK."

The woman who has reached three of the four major finals initially sustained a torn tendon in her left wrist during the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells in March. The injury forced the defending champion to pull out of Indian Wells. Clijsters, who competed in Belgium's Fed Cup tie in April, played just one WTA Tour match in the spring and summer seasons, scoring a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Spanish qualifier Marta Marrero in the second round of the Ladies German Open while sporting a six-inch brace on her left wrist. The day after her May 6th win over Marrero, Clijsters was forced to withdraw from the Berlin event with a recurrence of the wrist pain.

Clijsters will undergo further exams on her wrist, but believes she can comeback next year.

"The new injury is quite a blow, but will be and shall be resolved," said a statement on Clijsters' web site. "After being out for a couple of months, Clijsters will be a full 100 percent ready for 2005."

Stamp Paid
Oct 4th, 2004, 07:56 PM
I think she should come to the US and get her injury evaluated here, just to get a second opinion with a superior specialist than whats available in Belgium.