Tennis

Clijsters out up to 6 weeks with torn foot muscle

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BRUSSELS (AP)

Kim Clijsters is out for up to six weeks after tearing a muscle in her foot during Saturday's Fed Cup singles match against Estonia.

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The injury forced her to pull out of Sunday's reverse singles in the Fed Cup best-of-five series against Estonia, and places in grave doubt the U.S. Open champion's participation in next month's French Open.

"When the doctor tells you six weeks, then you start panicking. You think of your season's planning,'' she told VRT network.

The French Open at Roland Garros starts on May 23, but Clijsters is hopeful expert treatment will have her ready in time.

"I am someone who heals reasonably fast,'' she said.

Clijsters beat Maret Ani 6-4, 6-2 Saturday despite discomfort in her left foot in the second set.

"I felt during a backhand that something serious was happening. I had never felt this before,'' she said.

The bruising became more painful overnight, forcing her to pull out of Sunday's second match.

Tests at a local hospital showed liquid had built up in her foot, and a tear in one of the muscles on the inside of her foot.

She said she would be on crutches for a few days to rest her foot and it was unclear when she could resume full training.

Clijsters' injury is her first major setback since returning from retirement last year.

Often slowed by injuries before her first decision to retire, she took special care to no longer overburden her body.

Since her return in Cincinnati last August, she won the U.S. Open for her second Grand Slam win. This year, she claimed the Brisbane International in January and last month won the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Belgium defeated Estonia 3-1 to advance to the World Group of the Fed Cup.

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