Serena Williams is back house recuperating following two health scares she describes as “extremely tough, scary, and disappointing.” Her agents confirmed Wednesday that Williams suffered from a blood clot in her lungs last week and later needed treatment for a hematoma.
“I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this will all be behind me soon,” Williams said in a statement. “While I can’t make any promises now on my return, I hope to be back by early summer. That said, my primary objective is to make sure I get there safely.”
Spokeswoman Nicole Chabot told People magazine that Williams underwent “emergency treatment” Monday for a hematoma suffered as a result of treatment for “a much more crucial scenario,” a pulmonary embolism.
The 29-year-old Williams was treated at a Los Angeles hospital.
“Thankfully every thing was caught in time,” her agents said in a statement. “With continued physician visits to monitor her situation, she is recuperating at home under strict medical supervision.”
Williams’ mother, Oracene Cost, tweeted: “Thank you for your concern. She is fine.”
The winner of 13 Grand Slam titles, Williams attended Sunday night’s Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.
On Tuesday night, Williams posted on her Twitter account, “Tough day.” A couple of minutes later, she retweeted Kim Kardashian.
“Thank you everyone for all of your prayers, concerns, and support,” Williams said in her statement. “This has been extremely hard, scary, and disappointing. I am doing much better. I’m at house now and working with my doctors to maintain every thing under control.”
The younger sister of seven-time major champion Venus Williams hasn’t played an official match because winning Wimbledon for the fourth time July three. She cut her right foot on broken glass at a restaurant shortly following the victory, and her comeback has been repeatedly delayed by complications with the injury since.
Williams had surgery after initially hurting her foot and pulled out of the U.S. Open. She resumed practicing in September, but kept pushing back her return and needed an extra operation in October.
Williams missed the Australian Open in January, where she was the two-time defending champion.
Chabot told the magazine the embolism was discovered following Williams returned to Los Angeles from New York “for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot.”
Dr. Mark Adelman, chief of vascular surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, said a patient having a pulmonary embolism would require to take an anticoagulant for 6-12 months but could play sports on the medication.
“A blood clot can happen in any vein or extremity, most commonly within the leg, and can travel to the lung,” Dr. Adelman wrote in an e-mail. “Prior surgery, air travel, prolonged sitting, birth control pills, obesity and pregnancy can predispose a patient to a blood clot in the leg that may travel to the lung.”
Adelman said if a clot-dissolving agent is used to treat an embolism, it can result in bleeding around the catheter used to deliver the drug. Williams’ agents said the hematoma was removed.
Second-ranked Kim Clijsters tweeted Wednesday: “Just read about Serena!!!! Extremely scary, hope she is ok!fingers crossed!”
Williams has a wide range of company, fashion and charitable interests that keep her within the public eye even when she’s not on the court. Since winning her first Grand Slam title in 1999, she has struggled with injuries on a number of occasions only to come back to win much more championships.
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