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Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Serena Williams says of health scare: 'I could not breathe'

By Cindy Boren

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Serena Williams continues to recover from what she calls "the scariest moment in my life" and still has blood clots in her lung, she said in a "Today" interview.

"Every day is better and better," Williams, who remains on blood thinners, said. "I'm just working on trying to make sure I can keep my energy up. I'm not doing much. I haven't really left the house much recently. ... I still have several clots in my lung and they're just there. They have to eventually dissolve, so I'm just taking it one day at a time."

Williams, 29, has not played tennis since cutting her foot shortly after winning Wimbledon last July and undergoing two operations. She cleared up questions about just what happened to her recently. "I had a lot of swelling in my leg, which really is a telltale sign of an embolism and I could not breathe. I remember thinking, 'I'm walking, but I can't breathe.' That's when my physio forced me to go to the emergency room so I went and got the CAT scan and that's when they found several blood clots and I was, like, wow. They told me that they had to check me in immediatel," Williams said.

"... I'm on blood-thinner injections. I inject myself twice a day and I developed a large hematoma in my stomach. What started out as like a golf ball ended up being the size of a grapefruit on my stomach, so I had to get it drained. When I got there, they were like, 'We can't drain this. We have to surgically remove it.' "

Williams is targeting a return to tennis this summer. "Luckily enough, I was able to catch it soon enough that my career won't be affected. I said I wanted to return this summer; I was hoping to return way sooner than that, but I love tennis and now more than anything I have so much to look forward to in just playing. Being so close to the scariest moment in my life, I really just want to come back and be able to do well."

By Cindy Boren  | March 9, 2011; 10:41 AM ET
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