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Elldee
Jan 12th, 2006, 10:13 AM
Clijsters' injury not major
12/01/2006 10:50 - (SA)


Sydney - World No 2 Kim Clijsters received encouraging news on Thursday on a hip injury which forced her withdrawal from the Sydney International and put her in doubt for next week's Australian Open.

The Belgian star had scans on Thursday and said they found no tear in her left hip muscle but she said she would continue treatment to get herself fit for the year's first grand slam tournament, beginning in Melbourne on Monday.

The top seed complained of sharp pain in her groin and hip as she began warm-up serves before her match on Wednesday with Italian Francesca Schiavone, who progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament.

"I had an MRI scan this morning and it's shown I have an inflammation of the hip joint and tendon," Clijsters said in a statement released through the WTA Tour on Thursday.

"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 stabilisation exercises.

"At that point I'll have a better idea of my condition."

Medical report

The WTA said another medical report on Clijsters' condition will be released on Sunday.

Should Clijsters withdraw from the Open it would be another significant injury pull-out.

Defending men's champion Marat Safin withdrew with a knee injury on Wednesday, joining Rafael Nadal (foot) and Andre Agassi (ankle) on the sidelines.

Although the women's field has stayed largely intact, the loss of the charismatic Clijsters would be keenly felt by her large Australian following.

She is a former partner of Australian star Lleyton Hewitt.

Clijsters bounced back in spectacular fashion last year, breaking through in the US Open among nine WTA tournament successes after missing most of the previous year following wrist surgery.