Serena Williams had surgery to repair a lacerated tendon in her right foot July 15, a week after getting 18 stitches in her feet after cutting them on broken glass, she told USA Today on Wednesday.
The top-ranked women's player told USA Today that the tendon was on the top of her foot; however, her World Team Tennis team, the Washington Kastles, said previously that she had cut the bottom of her foot.
The torn tendon was causing her right big toe to "droop," Williams told USA Today.
"I came back to the United States from Germany and knew something was not right," Williams told USA Today. "My big toe was drooping, and I thought, 'My toe shouldn't be hanging like this.' I saw a specialist in New York and had an MRI, and he said I had a tendon that was torn. He said I didn't necessarily have to fix it, but I'd have a droopy toe the rest of my life. I thought it over and decided it was better to have the surgical procedure, for my career and for my life."
She is receiving physical therapy and resuming training in Los Angeles.
Williams cut the foot on on a broken glass at a restaurant in Germany. She told USA Today that she doesn't know exactly how she injured the foot.
"We were walking out of the restaurant and, all of a sudden, I felt pain," she told the newspaper. "The pain felt like kind of a stubbed foot, like 'Ow,' and I thought, 'Wow, I stubbed my foot.' Then in 20 seconds, or a minute, I started walking again. And it hurt some more. So we looked down and there was glass all over the floor. I was standing, recovering, thinking I got a little cut and telling my nephew, who was with us, to be careful. Then my practice partner put a cellphone down to the floor so we could see, and there was a huge puddle of blood. I said, 'OMG, I don't think this is good.'"
Williams received 18 stitches -- six inside the cut on her right foot, six on top of the right foot and six on the bottom of her left foot -- and then traveled to Brussels, where she played an exhibition against Kim Clijsters the next day.
"I had a lot of pain in Belgium and was getting nervous because that was when I noticed my toe was drooping," Williams told USA Today. "I got a shot and then played, and at the time, my left foot hurt way more, but I thought the pain and swelling would go away and that I'd probably be all right in a week."
She then returned to the United States but the pain didn't get better, so she consulted a specialist in New York. Before the surgery, she was photographed wearing heels, which led some members of the media to question the severity of her injury.
"Honestly, I don't read the press," she told the newspaper. "I don't know what they're saying. I just look at the pictures, the photo shoots. I heard just recently that there had been doubt, but at the end of the day, I have to answer to me. It's unfortunate I had to have surgery, but I'm not lying or denying, because it is what it is."
Following the injury, Williams withdrew from tournaments in Istanbul, Cincinnati and Montreal, as well as the U.S. Open.
Williams won her fourth Wimbledon crown and 13th major title in July.
After winning the Australian Open at the end of January, Williams was sidelined through April because of an injured left knee. She lost in the French Open quarterfinals in June before capturing Wimbledon.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.