Friday, January 29, 2010

Rafa Out Four Weeks

Rafael Nadal of Spain receives medical treatment as he plays Andy Murray of Britain during their quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2010.
Reuters

(AP) MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal will miss up to four weeks of competition with a knee injury that forced him to quit in the third set of his Australian Open quarterfinal against Andy Murray.

The second-ranked Nadal had his right knee assessed in Spain and was advised to get rest and treatment for four weeks before returning to tournament play.

Nadal said it was not the recurrence of the tendinitis that sidelined the six-time Grand Slam singles champion for periods of 2009.

He was unable to defend his Wimbledon title last year because of the tendinitis and has not reached another Grand Slam final since his five-set win over Roger Federer at last year's Australian Open.

MRI and ultrasound tests showed a small tear at the back part of Nadal's right knee, which can be treated with physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory treatment, Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro said in the statement.

Nadal expects to miss the ATP tournament starting Feb. 8 at Rotterdam, where he lost the final to Murray last year.

"After two weeks and depending on the results of the different tests and controls, he will steadily resume his sporting activity with a total recovery time to resume competition in fours weeks," Ruiz-Cotorro was quoted as saying.

Nadal said he was happy the latest injury setback was not lingering tendinitis.

"I feel good and I am only thinking now of recovering well," the 23-year-old Spaniard said. "My main goal right now is to get ready again and fit to play the upcoming events once I am able to compete."

(Thanks, Beth)

16 comments:

Helen W said...

My heart is simply breaking.

Get well soon, Rafa.

Beth said...

Me too Helen W. His knees seem to be Rafa's Achilles heel. Whether this is just bad genetics, or partly related to his style of play, I am having a pit-of-the-stomach sense that his knee problems are going to prevent him from achieving all that he can in this sport. It is heartbreaking to consider. Let's hope, through treatment and scheduling adjustments, that Rafa can forge on, undaunted.

Helen W said...

Well, as he himself says, this injury is better than a return of the knee tendinitis.

What also stings is to read so much vitriol or scathing dismissiveness directed his way. Oh well, I guess I should be less sensitive to it all -- like he manages to be.

Karen said...

If it was not for bad luck, this kid would have no luck at all. What is going on? He missed the majority of last season through injury. He has only just returned to tournament play and now he is out fo 4 weeks again. The thing is that I think with the recurring injuries, it may just frustrate the hell out of him. Is the answer that he takes as much time as is needed to heal his body properly? Perhaps, get some other medical personnel to have a look at the various tears etc that seem to be coming around in abundance and ensure that he is getting the proper treatment. Did he return too soon from his injuries last year? Is he playing with injuries that are not fully healed? It just seems that for the last 1.5 years or so he seems to be more injury prone than I have ever seen him.

Katri said...

I agree with all of you above. It's hearbreaking.

Rafa is not taking any chances anymore. The lessons of 2009... I guess he must have played for a long time with pain last year, thus paying the prize of defeat in RG, and...maybe even worse not being able to defend his Wimbledon title.

I know Rafas RG loss was the biggest upset of the year, but personally I was more gutted about him not even having a shot at defending his title in Wimbledon. Knowing how important his 2008 title was, and remembering the defeats of 06 and 07 finals.

So now Rafa and his team are taking his health into consideration. Good news, Rafa wants to have a longer career than predicted. I remember reading Rafa saying something like this in 2008: "The truth is, every one of us is playing with pain" I guess that attitude has changed a bit. (But I guess some pain is a part of being a top athlete)

So he had to withdraw agains Murray. Murray played very well against Rafa, and I hope he can play a better match than Tsonga did today against Fed (wouldn't take too much, though)

In the meanwhile me and lots of Rafas other fans think back just a year ago when he had it all...*sigh*

So he is out for a few weeks, just now that he has tons of points to defend. He will fall down the rankings. He will be healthy and he will come back. After all, he is 23 years old. People older than him are being called promising talents!

But I am worried about him, like lots of his fans are. I'm trying not to fangirl too much but Rafa is amazing as a player and person and I'm sad he is out with injury again. Miss him already :-(

Helen W said...

Katri says:

But I am worried about him, like lots of his fans are. I'm trying not to fangirl too much but Rafa is amazing as a player and person and I'm sad he is out with injury again. Miss him already :-(.

My feelings exactly. I am girding my loins to bear a bunch of "I told you so's" because of his style of play. Yes, it is possible that his very physical style of play makes him more injury-prone. My problem with this argument is that the folks making such claims never mention the fact that he is much more strongly built that most other players, so presumably his body can withstand a higher level of punishment.

Craig said...

Rafa was the No. 2 player in the world for 5 consecutive years and he fought very hard to both remain there and ascend to No. 1. I say this regarding my guy, too, but "if not for Federer", Rafa might have been atop the rankings for 6 years.

In other words, he may only be 23, but he's an old champion with a veteran's status.

I'm not saying his run at the pinnacle of the sport is over, but confidence is a terrible thing to lose and it can take forever to regain. Any setback to confidence building can be magnified by an injury like this.

Additionally, outside of clay, Rafa has no aura of invincibility like his chief rival, so players are more likely to pounce when they see him struggling than they are when they see Raja struggling.

What Rafa's bad luck means is that Raja's good luck will allow him to dominate Slams a whole lot longer unless or until del Potro can remain healthy and become Raja's new rival on all surfaces.

Whole Sight said...

I like Nadal, but I'm not sure I'd call his knee trouble heartbreaking and nor would feel terribly sorry for him even if he had to quit because of it. He's achieved more than most people and has the rest of his life still to go.

Plus he's like anyone else - I imagine what is really heartbreaking for him is stuff like his parents divorcing, etc. Career stuff may be a bitch but that's different.

Karen said...

You know as much as may not want to admit it, I think style of play will have a lot to say about how long Federer remains on top. In addition to the syle of play argument, there is also the fact that Federer has a very regimented schedule. Every year after Wimbledon he takes a month off. Every time after the USO he takes another month off. During this time you will see quite a number of players playing tournaments all over the place. The other day he said that players need to listen to their bodies. I am not sure if people recalled when Venus was out for a long time with tendinitis in both her wrist and her knees. Rumours are that she had surgery on the wrist to correct the problem. This stemmed from how hard Venus used to hit her serves and it basically damaged the tendons in her wrist. To this day Venus still plays with her wrist bandaged to ensure that the tendinitis which is constantly there will not reoccur to sideline her career. DelPo I dont think has what it takes to remain injury free based again on his style of play. Have you seen how this guy hits his forehand? It is a monster shot and he tries to hit it from ridiculous positions on the court, some when he is way out of position and just going for it. As someone who plays tennis, whether you are a pro or amateur, one of the significant things about not getting injured while playing tennis is to ensure that you are in position for each shot. That is the reason why people like Federer hardly ever gets injured. Someone asked recently about Federer's anticipation, and the fact that he always seems to be in position for the next shot. It is not anticipation so much as just very good footwork. I dont know what the solution for Nadal's issues are but I think one of the biggest concerns has to be that at age 23 his body has begun to betray him. Someone did an analysis of Nadal's career sometime ago and it would seem that this is the longest stretch that he has been out with injury. Apparently ever since he came on the scene his worst times playing have always been after the USO and the beginning of the clay court season. During that time, he has either been out with injury or has not been able to win any titles.

Pasamonte said...

Poor Rafa, I cried when I saw his faces of pain the other day. But after the match he talked with so much maturity that I can´t help but admire him much more as a human being than a sportsman.

Believe me my friends, his limited English doesn´t fully reflect his soul.

¡VAMOS!

Whole Sight said...

Helen W. said, "Yes, it is possible that his very physical style of play makes him more injury-prone. My problem with this argument is that the folks making such claims never mention the fact that he is much more strongly built that most other players, so presumably his body can withstand a higher level of punishment."

Actually, my impression is that the opposite is true: athletes who are strongly muscled tend to put more stress on their joints. In basketball muscled guys don't usually last as long as skinny guys.

And think about Tsonga too - he is very powerfully built, giving him incredible explosiveness when he is playing well. I have read that bac in 2004 he suffered from a disk problem in his back, stomach pulls, and two right shoulder injuries.

Not that this is conclusive by itself, but it is suggestive.

Craig said...

Muscle mass has little or no influence on injuries, according to the resident physical therapist. If the muscle mass has developed over time, the muscles and joint can be healthier and stronger than someone without muscle mass or someone who developed it rapidly.

There are more factors involved with those prone to injuries.

Helen W said...

Whoe Sight & Craig, I freely admit to having little real knowledge on this subject. My gripe really is with all those folks that have as little knowledge as myself making their "I told you so" pronouncements -- that Rafa's injuries are clearly a result of his physical style of play.

As you both have pointed out, it is much more complicated than that.

Helen W said...

Whole Sight says:

I like Nadal, but I'm not sure I'd call his knee trouble heartbreaking and nor would feel terribly sorry for him even if he had to quit because of it. He's achieved more than most people and has the rest of his life still to go.

Of course. It's my heart that's broken, not his :). (Along with a lot of his fans, I suspect.) And the reason it's broken is because I like and admire him so much -- and because I am sure he loves playing tennis and would love to continue to do so, rather than having to leave at the ripe old age of 23.

But you are correct -- such accomplished athletes are among fortune's favourites, as Rafa himself has often expressed. Because he is the kind of person he is, and the player he is, I want to see him for years yet. For me he leaves a vacuum when he's not playing.

lynney62 said...

I am so sick at heart over this latest setback......jeez....Rafa was just barely starting to regain confidence in his body to hold up for him....this is as sad as can be. I'm usually an optomist about life in general, but this latest episode is testing my optomism to the limit! For me, having been a Rafa-follower since '04, tennis is just not the same without him.....in fact, it's rather boring without a few Nadal "Vamos's" to spark my spirit!

lynney62 said...

Can I just add one more little thing.......GOD, I AM BORED TO DEATH WITH FEDERER!
Thanx!