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Kuerten undergoes more hip surgery

Kuerten is hoping further surgery can clear up his hip injury

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil -- Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten will be out of action for up to six months after undergoing further surgery on a recurring hip problem.

A spokesman for the Brazilian said he had undergone successful surgery under specialist Marc Philippon in Pittsburgh on Tuesday to remove cartilage from his right hip, and would now need to rest for four to six months.

Kuerten underwent surgery on the same hip in February 2002 but has since struggled to regain the form which took him to the world number one spot as well as his three Roland Garros titles.

The 28-year-old will remain in the United States for three weeks before returning to Brazil, and he will be able to begin light exercises to strengthen his muscles after a month's rest.

Kuerten, ranked 27th in the world, told the daily O Estado de Sao Paulo that all that he was hoping for was "to be able to return to playing without pain".

Tennis specialist Rogerio Teixeira said that the surgery would correct the painful problems that were hampering Kuerten's game.

"This type of surgery requires a structured recovery programme, so that the wounds heal properly and Guga can return to the highest level," said Teixeira.

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