Knifed tennis star Kvitova's career in doubt
Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova faces around six months out of the sport while her playing hand, wounded in a knife attack, recovers its strength, the surgeon who operated on her said.
Kvitova (26) was injured on Tuesday when she fought off an intruder in her apartment in the Czech Republic.
"When we talk about competitive pressure on the hand, we are talking about a period of around six months," Radek Kebrle said in a televised news conference.
"She is a young athlete, healthy ... but it still is a relatively massive injury," he said, adding that all the fingers on Kvitova's left hand were hurt as she grabbed the attacker's knife.
Her spokesman, Karel Tejkal, earlier described Tuesday's near four-hour operation as a success and said Kvitova's mood was optimistic.
But both he and the Women's Tennis Association suggested her future in the sport was uncertain.
"There will be several weeks of waiting with a splint and then, gradually, slowly she will be able to put the hand to work," Tejkal told Czech public television. But any return to competitive tennis for the Czech world number 11 was "weeks and months" away, he said.
The WTA, the umbrella organisation for the women's professional game, said it regretted her absence from the circuit. "It's unclear if or when Kvitova will be back on the court, and the start of 2017 won't be the same without her unique power and competitive spirit," the association said on its website.