Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Philippoussis hoping to put injuries behind him

DPA , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

For struggling Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis, the nightmare of another knee injury could prevent him from fulfilling his long-odds dream of a return to the top levels of the sport.

But as he dips his toes back into the competitive arena with an appearance at the Legends doubles event at next month’s Australian Open after last playing on the ATP in November, 2006, the 32-year-old admits that he’s trying to achieve the near-impossible.

“It would be nice to play a match in Melbourne — it’s been a long time,” the hometown boy who twice lost Grand Slam finals told Australian media.

“It’s not the match I wanted, but it’s a way for me to get back into the game,” he said. “It’s just a slow start to the road ahead. It’s gonna be fun — but I’ve got a long way to go. This is a great way for me to see how the body is feeling and take it from there.”

The veteran of half a dozen knee surgeries says he does not want to ever add to that total.

“Obviously, I don’t want to be 34 and 36 and have another surgery, I’ve got to be realistic. If I come back too soon and hurt myself it might end up being another surgery. And I don’t want that,” he said.

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