Rafael Nadal faces 'five months recovery' after keyhole surgery on hip | Inquirer Sports

Rafael Nadal faces ‘five months recovery’ after keyhole surgery on hip

/ 12:52 PM June 04, 2023

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 18, 2023 Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his second round match against Mackenzie Mcdonald of the U.S.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 18, 2023 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his second round match against Mackenzie Mcdonald of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Rafael Nadal’s keyhole surgery on his injured hip was “positive” but he will require a five-month recovery period before playing again, his spokesman said Saturday.

The 22-time Grand Slam title winner, who celebrated his 37th birthday on Saturday, could in theory be back in time for the Davis Cup finals in November.

However, it is likely he will sit out the rest of the season before resuming in 2024 which he has already said will be the last year of his career.

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“The surgery was positive,” said his spokesman of the procedure which was carried out in Barcelona.

“The normal recovery process is estimated at five months.”

Nadal said last month that the hip injury had not healed as well as he had hoped and therefore he was taking more time out of the sport.

The Spaniard missed the ongoing French Open, which he has won 14 times, for the first time since 2004.

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He will also sit out Wimbledon, where he is a two-time champion, next month.

Nadal had hoped the injury he suffered in a second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January would heal in six weeks.

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While he recovers, old rival Novak Djokovic has the chance to break out of the tie for 22 majors by winning a third French Open.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return to Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during their men's singles match on day six of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on June 2, 2023. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during their men’s singles match on day six of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on June 2, 2023. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

On Friday, Djokovic reached the last 16 in Paris for the 14th successive year and will face Juan Pablo Virallas, the 94th-ranked Peruvian, on Sunday for a place in the quarterfinals.

Angel Ruiz Cotorro, the surgeon who carried out the operation, said “the chances of success of the intervention are high”.

Regarding the recovery time, Ruiz Cotorro, who works as the medical adviser to the Spanish Tennis Federation, told journalists on the sidelines of the French Open that any “rush” should be avoided.

“We set ourselves this deadline (of five months) because it is important for an athlete to have a goal to stimulate his will to fight and to recover,” he said.

“It is difficult to say whether in five months he will be able to play at 100 percent. He may have to take another month to recover.”

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He admitted that Nadal “was not happy” with this new delay.

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