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Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Serena Williams recovering from hematoma, pulmonary embolism

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 5:45 p.m.

Serena Williams is recovering at home after receiving treatment for what her agents said was a hematoma she suffered earlier this week after having treatment for a pulmonary embolism last week.

"Thank you everyone for all of your prayers, concerns, and support," Williams, 29, said in a statement released by her reps. "This has been extremely hard, scary, and disappointing. I am doing better. I'm at home now and working with my doctors to keep everything under control."

Williams, who hasn't played in a tournament since Wimbledon last summer, had no prediction about when she'd play again. "I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this will all be behind me soon," her statement said. "While I can't make any promises now on my return, I hope to be back by early summer. That said, my main goal is to make sure I get there safely."

Updated at 1:53 p.m.

The day after attending the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards party, Serena Williams underwent treatment at a Los Angeles hospital for a hematoma that resulted from a pulmonary embolism.

"Monday Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment at Cedars for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation," Nicole Chabot, Williams' representative, said in a statement to People.com. "Last week, Serena suffered from a pulmonary embolism [a blood clot in the lungs] which was discovered upon her return to L.A. She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot."

Williams reportedly is in a Los Angeles hospital, but has not, according to the New York Daily News, had surgery. Blood clots are typically treated with blood thinners.

It is unclear whether the blood clot is related to the foot injury Williams suffered shortly after winning Wimbledon last summer. She cut her foot on a shard of glass and twice had surgery.

"The pain felt like kind of a stubbed foot, like 'Ow,' and I thought, 'Wow, I stubbed my foot.' Then in 20 seconds, or a minute, I started walking again. And it hurt some more. So we looked down and there was glass all over the floor. I was standing, recovering, thinking I got a little cut and telling my nephew, who was with us, to be careful," Williams said of the injury last fall. "Then my practice partner put a cellphone down to the floor so we could see, and there was a huge puddle of blood. I said, 'OMG, I don't think this is good.' "

Williams was seen at Cedars Sinai Hospital several times last week but kept to an active schedule and was tweeting frequently. "Doctors are continuing to monitor her situation closely to avoid additional complications," Chabot said.

According to Dr. Mark Adelman, director of vascular surgery and a member of the Cardiac and Vascular Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, "There are tens of thousands blood clots in the lungs that happen each year in the United States. A blood clot can occur in any vein or extremity, most commonly in the leg, and can travel to the lung. Prior surgery, air travel, prolonged sitting, birth control pills, obesity and pregnancy can predispose a patient to a blood clot in the leg that can travel to the lung.

"Deep vein thrombosis in athletes happens most often in the arm. I have treated tennis players, baseball players and hockey players with DVT in the arm. In terms of lower extremity blood clots, athletes don't often get it in the leg. Athletes travel a lot. Air travel and prolonged sitting in one spot can lead to blood clots. If a person has a pulmonary embolism, they would need to be on anti-coagulant like Coumadin for 6 to 12 months. They would be able to play sports and be back on the court with an anti-coagulant. If the clot comes back the patient may need an implanted filter device to catch future blood clots."

At 3 p.m. EST, Williams' mother, Oracene, tweeted this update:

Thank you for your concern. She is fine.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

By Cindy Boren  | March 2, 2011; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Tennis  
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Comments

Wow, that's very serious! I certainly hope she gets better soon, she's one of my favs!!!!!

Posted by: awfulexcuse1 | March 2, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Surgery will often create or loosen up older clots, sending them through the bloodstream. Good thing they caught these in the lungs, before they got to the heart. From there it's into the brain - and bad news.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 2, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 704964246 | March 2, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"A blood clot can occur in any vein or extremity, most commonly in the leg, and can travel to the lung. Prior surgery, air travel, prolonged sitting, birth control pills, obesity and pregnancy can predispose a patient to a blood clot in the leg that can travel to the lung."
---------

Hmm, so of these possibilities the most likely to fit is that Serena is pregnant?

Posted by: ozpunk | March 2, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow...I hope she fully recovers soon.

And to the person wondering if Serena was predisposed to the clot due to pregnancy: I think Serena's prior foot surgery may have exposed her to the risk of blood clotting. I recently had surgery and experienced a blood clot in my leg immediately afterwards (literally that same night while in the ICU. Interestingly, when I complained about the excruciating pain in my leg the nurse told me to walk it off. Only after they couldn't find a pulse in my foot was my pain taken seriously.). And I don't fit in any of the other categories listed.

Posted by: venus31 | March 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hope she recovers well soon .

Posted by: 10bestfan | March 2, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Serena Williams Undergoes Treatment for a Pulmonary Embolism. Read more at http://footdronline.com/blog.html

Posted by: footdronline | March 2, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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