Anett Kontaveit on back injury: I will likely never be fully free of it
Tennis player Anett Kontaveit says she hopes that she will be able to play competitively from next month, following a back injury which has kept her out of most of 2023's competitions so far.
The injury has longer-range consequences and will likely require careful management throughout the rest of the player's top-level career.
Speaking to news portal Delfi (link in Estonian) Kontaveit, who recently fell to 61st in the WTA rankings, said: "My injury, speaking specifically, concerns degenerative changes in the lumbar discs in the spine, and irritation due to past injury to the left thigh."
"I am treating it with special exercises and physiotherapy, and I am being helped by [physiotherapists] Toms Zvonkovs and Lauri Ott," she went on.
As for the longer-term prospects, Kontaveit said: "I likely won't ever be free of it, but managing it well enough for me to keep playing pain-free will hopefully be viable."
Kontaveit, who ranked as high as second in the world last summer, says she hopes to return to the competitive circuit in mid-April, for the Billie Jean King Cup in Portugal.
Orthopaedics specialist Mihkel Mardna told Delfi that the injury would likely remain through Kontaveit's career, noting that specific, therapuetic exercises focusing on the back and abdomen will help.
"This does not exclude continuing at the top level of the sport as of now, but it will require very careful monitoring of the exercises, and perhaps correction of training," he said.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Anders Nõmm