Left wrist acts up at Gaz de France

Updated: October 5, 2004, 10:59 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BRUSSELS -- Kim Clijsters will be out of action for the rest of the season but does not need more surgery on her wrist after suffering an injury in the Gaz de France Stars.

Kim Clijsters
APKim Clijsters had won her first two matches before feeling pain in the semifinals.
Clijsters' official Web site said Sunday that doctors had reassured her the new injury was not as serious as the last one.

Her surgeon said that the old condition had completely healed and that she was suffering from a new problem in the same area.

She'll have tests this week, her Web site said.

However, the tournament's doctor told a newspaper that the latest injury could threaten Clijsters' future in tennis.

"This injury can mean the end of her career," Bruno Willems said, according to Monday's edition of De Morgen. "Let's be straight: This is a drama for Kim. I hope she comes back, but I'm pessimistic."

On Wednesday, Clijsters' fiance, Lleyton Hewitt, denied media reports the injury was career-threatening.

"Yeah, I don't know where that came from," Hewitt, who is in Tokyo for this week's Japan Open, told Reuters. "She was obviously hitting the ball well, won a couple of matches and wasn't really feeling much pain at all.

"Then to actually hurt it again, the same wrist. I think she spent enough time out. I don't think she came back too early."

Clijsters quit her semifinal against Russia's Elena Bovina midway through the second set Saturday when she felt pain on her problematic left wrist.

With her discomfort obvious, Clijsters, who is right-handed, abandoned her trademark two-handed backhand and tried to carry on by using only one hand.

However, the move failed to pay off and Clijsters decided to halt proceedings.

The former world No. 1 was playing her first tournament for almost five months after suffering torn tendons and having surgery on the wrist to remove a cyst.

The Belgian won her first two matches at the tournament in Hasselt but failed to last the distance against third seed Bovina.

"The doctors gave her the green light to compete in the tournament and she played her first two games without pain at all," Clijsters' coach Marc Dehous said.

"She followed what the doctors and surgeons ordered her to do. Her comeback was carefully planned ... in the days before the tournament she went at it at 100 percent with her male sparring partners and her wrist was okay."

Clijsters has been advised to ice the wrist and have anti-inflammatory treatment.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.