Dinara Safina has finally returned to the tour. Struggling for months with a back injury, Safina is playing in Stuttgart this week, as is Svetlana Kuznetsova, who has been out with an injured shoulder. Caroline Wozniacki, who turned her ankle in Charleston, is also playing in Stuttgart, and Victoria Azarenka--who had to retire in Charleston because of a hip strain--is playing in the Porsche Grand Prix, too.
There remain plenty of injuries to go around, however, among top and near-top players. Both Venus and Serena Williams have knee problems, Kim Clijsters tore a foot muscle in one version, and--in another version--broke some bones in her foot. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova withdrew from Charleston because of a left foot injury, and withdrew from Stuttgart because of a right foot injury. Justine Henin broke the little finger on her left hand, which--if one is right-handed with a one-handed backhand--is not the disaster it might be for someone else.
Jelena Jankovic has been playing with an injured wrist, Sabine Lisicki's ankle is still injured, Dominika Cibulkova has a hip strain, and Alisa Kleybanova is out with plantar fasciitis. And then there's Maria Sharapova, who is dealing with a bone bruise in her right elbow.
What with the injuries, the rehabs and the recovery times, the prospect of having healthy and/or prepared players at the French Open isn't looking too good. Of course, that could change. Some players have already resumed playing, and others may resume next week in Rome; Serena Williams has already announced that she will play in Italy.
The French Open is my favorite major, so I hope that most of the top players--and top clay players--will be there. But, as we witnessed in Fed Cup this past weekend, something can go in just one moment. It is probably too much to ask that Clijsters can make it to Paris, but I hope that the others can.