Petra Kvitova will be unable to play tennis for at least six months after undergoing surgery on “severe” hand injuries sustained in a knife attack, the player’s PR manager has told CNN.
But it is still too early to assess when she will be ready for a competitive return.
“The best case scenario is that Petra will be able to play tennis again after six months,” Katie Spellman said via email Wednesday, relaying the advice of surgeon Radek Kebrle.
“It is too soon to specify when precisely she can return to competition, but Petra is ready to do everything she can to get back competing at the highest level,” Spellman added.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had a near four-hour operation on the wounds sustained after she was attacked by a knife-wielding robber in her apartment in the Czech Republic Tuesday.
Doctors repaired damage to tendons in all five digits of the left hand as well as two nerves.
“Surgeon Radek Kebrle said that the operation on Petra’s left hand went very well, with no complications,” Spellman continued. “Petra will be on bed rest for 14 days, she will begin slow rehabilitation at around (six to eight) weeks post operation.
“If that rehabilitation process goes well, Petra should be able to grip a racket for the first time (but not play tennis) at three months.”
Speaking Tuesday, Kvitova revealed she was lucky to have survived the incident, let alone be consider when she will play next.
“I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive,” she said via a post on her Facebook page. “The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this.”
Czech police told CNN that the attack took place just before 8.30 a.m. CET in Kvitova’s apartment near the center of Prostejov, a small city about 160 miles east of Prague where a number of Czech tennis pros live and train during the offseason.
“The attacker was a man aged around 35 years, his identity is unknown and he is on the run. Police are working to determine what happened,” the police spokesperson said.
Karel Tejkal, spokesman for the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon winner, told the state-run Czech Radio that “it looks like it was a random act and not a planned action.”
A number of tennis pros expressed their shock at the incident on social media and passed on their best wishes to Olympic bronze medalist Kvitova, who ended the year ranked 11th.
“So upset hearing the news about @Petra_Kvitova. Hands down one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. All my thoughts with her,” American world No. 8 Madison Keys said on Twitter.
Monica Puig, Olympic gold medal winner in Rio de Janeiro in August, tweeted: “Thinking of you @Petra_Kvitova .. stay strong! We are all with you.”
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Petra! She’s a great fighter and I am positive she will be ok! @Petra_Kvitova thinking of you!”