Kvitova out for much longer than expected

The surgeon who operated on the injured hand of world number 11 Petra Kvitova has said the Czech is unlikely to play for at least six months.

Kvitova suffered damage to tendons and nerves in her left hand, her playing hand, when she was attacked with a knife by an intruder in her home on Tuesday.

Speaking after the incident in which the burglar gained access to her apartment after posing as a utilities man, the 26-year-old Kvitova said she was "shaken" and "fortunate to be alive".

While initial reports suggested she might return to action in just three months, the two-time Wimbledon winner's prognosis is not quite as positive since undergoing surgery to repair the damage.

Surgeon Radek Kebrle said the operation went "very well, with no complications," but that it would be some time before Kvitova would be back on court, with 14 days of bed rest set to be followed by a period of three months before Kvitova can even grip a racquet.

"The best case scenario is that Petra will be able to play tennis again after six months," Katie Spellman told CNN via email.

A further statement from Kvitova's management said that any estimates as to when the Olympic bronze medalist would return are premature.

"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," the statement read.

"Petra is happy with how the operation went and is in good spirits."

Kvitova, who made her professional debut in 2006, has won 19 titles with career prize money totalling more than £18.4m. She reached a career-high ranking of number two in October 2011.

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