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No date for Kvitova return after knife attack

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova suffered severe injuries to her left hand as she fought off a knife-wielding intruder at her home in December 2016 © AFP/File / PATRICK HERTZOG

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Mar 20 – Petra Kvitova has regained the use of her racquet hand badly injured three months ago in a knife attack but there is still no date for her return to tennis, her spokesman said on Monday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered severe injuries to her left hand as she fought off a knife-wielding intruder at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov in December.

The 27-year-old underwent emergency surgery, enduring a four-hour operation to repair tendon and nerve damage.

“Petra uses her hand without problem for daily activities,” spokesman Karel Tejkal told AFP, saying she had been keeping up her fitness.

“Of course, the hand is weakened but at first glance you can’t see that she was injured.”

Doctors had previously estimated that the Czech star, ranked 15 in the world, would not be able to return to competition before the second half of the year.

“At the moment no one can give a concrete date,” said the spokesman.

“Petra’s convalescence is continuing as planned, so far there are no complications, but everything is up in the air as to her return.”

Her recovery psychologically was “very encouraging”, he added, saying she had been fitness training in the Canary Islands.

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The identity of the intruder who carried out the assault remains unknown to police.

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