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On Friday, it was revealed by Reuters that the damage is severe enough that Petkovic, just recently back from a stress fracture in her back, will miss the French Open and Wimbledon, and potentially the Olympics as well, denying the game one of its most exciting and engaging stars for a huge chunk of the 2012 season.

A year after making the quarterfinals at three of the season's four Grand Slams, Petkovic has managed just seven matches thus far in 2012.
She'll lose 60 points off her ranking this coming Monday, and the free fall will continue from there.  Even if she comes back immediately after Wimbledon, Petkovic stands to lose more than 1,150 points off her current No. 12 ranking, meaning she'll at best be 24th entering the Olympics, which will make her trip towards the medal round sizably more difficult that it would have seemed a week ago.

At 24 years old, Petkovic is neither a phenom nor over the hill, but she now faces the daunting task of coming back from a second serious tennis injury, something that is rarely done in the Open Era.

Despite all the successes of modern medicine, and the remarkable comebacks from players like Serena Williams in recent years, multiple tennis injuries have a foreboding tone.

Once a player's body begins to break down, it becomes more and more difficult to regain that top form, a painful lesson for the likes of Kim Clijsters and Rafael Nadal in recent years.

Azarenka's sportsmanship in attending to the clearly injured Petkovic was the silver lining of the injury, but the fact remains that Petkovic is now directly behind the eight ball when it comes to playing the rest of her career injury free.

Having suffered major damage to her back and leg, she'll have to battle constantly to avoid being lumped into the ever-growing category of "Coulda, woulda shoulda" athletes.