China's Li may need surgery but won't miss Olympics

Updated: April 1, 2008, 1:57 AM ET
Reuters

BEIJING -- China's top singles player Li Na might need surgery on her injured knee but will be fit for the Beijing Olympics, according to a leading China Tennis Association (CTA) official.

The world No. 29's injury has kept her off court since February's Antwerp Open, and she will be out for at least another three weeks, CTA deputy director Gao Shenyang told Tuesday's China Daily.

"The injury won't hamper her participation in the Beijing Games in August, but I think we should take it seriously," he told the paper.

The 25-year-old Li made an impressive return after a six-month absence due to a chest injury last year, winning the Gold Coast title and reaching the Antwerp semifinals.

But the knee injury forced her to withdraw from tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.

The CTA has made injury prevention a top priority before the Olympics after a string of injuries hampered 2006 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Li and Grand Slam doubles champion Zheng Jie during the 2007 season.

"We will employ overseas trainers and doctors to make sure injuries won't happen again on the national team," Gao said.

"Otherwise we will be struggling to reach our Olympic goal in August."