(Reuters) - Former world number four Kimiko Date-Krumm is targeting a return to the court next year, having last featured in the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open in January.
Japan's Date-Krumm, who will turn 46 next week, has been plagued with injuries since she made her comeback in 2008, after initially retiring in 1996, and is recovering from knee surgery she underwent in April.
"I have been told it will take a year (to fully recover from the operation) and it's just a case of how much more or less time it will be than that," Date-Krumm told reporters in Tokyo.
"Everything has gone well up to this point and it has not put limitations on my daily life. As an athlete, you have to condition muscle and I want the injury to properly heal."
Date-Krumm has won eight WTA titles, the last in 2009, and reached the semi-finals of three grand slam tournaments.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)