BRUSSELS — Kim Clijsters is out for up to six weeks after tearing a muscle in her left foot during a Fed Cup singles match Saturday.
The injury forced her to pull out of Sunday's reverse singles in the best-of-five series against Estonia, and casts doubt on whether the U.S. Open champion will be able to play 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 year's second Grand Slam tournament starts in four weeks, on May 23, but Clijsters is hoping that intensive treatment will shorten the estimated six-week rehabilitation.
"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 and tests at a 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 will use crutches for a few days to rest the foot. It was unclear when she could resume full training.
The injury is Clijsters' first major setback since she returned from retirement last year. Often slowed by injuries before she retired, she took special care in her comeback to avoid wearing down her body.
Since her return in Cincinnati last August, she won the U.S. Open for her second Grand Slam title. 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.