Tennis great Serena Williams has been hospitalized again for complications stemming from a pulmonary embolism discovered by her Los Angeles doctor last week. The embolism — which is a blood clot in her lungs — required emergency treatment, and the treatment caused a hematoma, which occurs when a blood vessel is weakened or damaged.
Williams hasn’t played tennis since injuring her foot after winning the Wimbledon title in July and now it looks like she’ll be spending even more time off the court than she’d anticipated. Though she had hoped to return to the sport by spring, she likely won’t be able to play again until summer.
“This has been extremely hard, scary, and disappointing,” Williams says in a new statement. “I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this
will all be behind me soon. While I can’t make any promises now on my
return, I hope to be back by early summer. That said, my main goal is to
make sure I get there safely.”
It’s possible that the embolism was a complication of the surgery on her foot, as clots are more likely to form in people who have had surgery. Embolisms often form in the leg and travel to the lung.
The WTA says, “We are very heartened to hear … Serena is now recovering and on the
road to full health and a possible return to professional tennis in
early summer. Serena is a champion on and off the court, and we along
with her millions of fans wish her a speedy recovery.”
Williams’ fellow tennis stars have tweeted their support. The #1 Tennis player in the world (Williams now stands at #11), Christine Wozniacki, posted “My thoughts are going out to her, hope she is ok!” Kim Clijsters, who stands at #2, wrote, “Just read about Serena!!!! Very scary, hope she is ok!fingers crossed.”
Even Billie Jean King released a statement. “Serena is a champion and a fighter. I know she is the kind of person who faces challenges with complete
optimism and guts and I don’t think this situation will be any different