Sharapova expects to return in March

2/10/2009 - Tennis

PARIS -- Maria Sharapova's return to the tour is still on hold. Even she is not sure when her injured right shoulder will be ready.

After missing the past two Grand Slam tournaments -- last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open -- Sharapova pulled out of this week's indoor event in Paris, and next week's hard-court event in Dubai.

The earliest she expects to be back is a month from now: Her next scheduled event, according to the WTA Tour's Web site, is the March 11-22 tournament at Indian Wells, Calif.

Sharapova wrote on her Web site last week that she is "aiming" to return at that event or the March 25-April 4 tournament at Key Biscayne, Fla., "depending on how things shape up."

"I cannot wait to get back to playing tournaments," the three-time Grand Slam title winner wrote.

Sharapova has not played competitively since pulling out of a tournament in Montreal in late July after winning a nearly three-hour match in which she double-faulted 17 times. The right-hander was examined by a trainer midway through the three-set victory, and she withdrew from the event before her next match.

Medical tests later found a torn rotator cuff tendon in the Russian's shoulder.