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

4/1/2008 - Tennis

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."