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Nadal Must Adapt to Prolong His Career, His Doctor Says. From Chipnputt. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on September 24, 2010


Nadal Must Adapt to Prolong His Career, His Doctor Says


Published: September 24, 2010

MADRID (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal will have to learn how to listen to his body if he is to dominate the world of tennis like Roger Federer, his knee doctor said on Friday.

The 24-year-old Spaniard added the US Open to his list of Australian, French and Wimbledon crowns earlier this month, only the seventh person to have won all four grand slams.

This still left him seven major titles short of Federer’s record haul of 16 and doubts linger over whether Nadal’s knees will allow him to compete at the same level for that long.

“He has to learn how to take care of himself to be able to carry on for many years,” surgeon Mikel Sanchez told Spanish sports daily Marca.

The world number one turned to the orthopaedic specialist after the Australian Open last year, when he suffered nagging pain.

“It was incredible he was able to keep on playing with his knees the way they were,” Sanchez said.

The doctor treated Nadal’s knees with a series of enriched plasma injections to help rebuild his tendons, and he skipped the whole grasscourt season to rest and recover.

“He isn’t going to change the way he plays, nor is he going to miss games so he doesn’t injure himself,” Sanchez added.

“He’s going to continue at the same rhythm and there is a risk that his tendons will degenerate again. It could occur in other tendons such as the Achilles.

“He subjects his tendons to violent stress because he trains a lot. He puts in a lot of hours, plays a lot of games and always at 100 percent.

“If the body isn’t able to regenerate what it has damaged, injuries occur. The more aggressive you are, the more you leap, the heavier the musculature you carry, which he does, the more injuries you will have.”

Sanchez had to convince Nadal not to compete in Barcelona earlier this year in order to help his treatment, and said this was the type of decision he would have to take on his own in the future.

“He has to understand that the older he gets the more he has to establish some kind of balance,” Sanchez said. “He can’t try to win every tournament he plays over the next 10 years.”

(Writing by Mark Elkington; Editing by Barry Moody)

12 Responses to “Nadal Must Adapt to Prolong His Career, His Doctor Says. From Chipnputt. Thanks.”

  1. chieko said

    I see.

  2. wuiches said

    unfortunately the english edition takes only some tricky parts of the interview, for those of you who know some spanish go to and read it complete, it’s kind of long.

    he says that his tendons look thick again, that are totally cured, that they are like before the injury, only IF Nadal abuse of his body again he will need the treatment. But that’s not gonna happen, he has taken the right choices to not let that happen again.

    the guy can play, believe me, if he doesn’t get the 16 his knees won’t be the reason.

  3. Jenny said

    Thanks, Chip. I think Dr Sanchez covers it all. To be honest, I don’t see Rafa changing his style either, maybe getting more cheap points on his serve would help. Neither do I see him skipping Barcelona next year if he’s fit. At the end of the day, Rafa’s been made aware of the situation, that is all a specialist doctor can do, as well as providing suitable treatment to stave off which may be the inevitable wear and tear.

  4. M said

    My goodness. I guess that doctor isn’t too fussed about doctor-patient privilege??

    I mean, I know rules are different everywhere, but …

    • Jenny said

      You’re right, M, I would imagine the medical code of conduct is pretty much universal and taken very seriously, ie patient confidentiality. Infact the code applies to all health workers here, it doesn’t matter who the patient is. I’m sure the doctor must have discussed the situation with his client [Rafa] and his team and given permission for an article of this nature to be published, Any doctor could be in trouble and certainly lose credibility without such permission, therefore I doubt any respectable physician or surgeon would choose to take that route.

      • Jenny said

        Sorry, I should have said Code of Practice, lol I’m thinking tennis!

      • M said

        “I’m sure the doctor must have discussed the situation with his client [Rafa] and his team and given permission for an article of this nature to be published”

        You know, I think that has interesting ramifications too … I mean, as a point of strategy, if they’re willing to let it be discussed in the press — b/c you *know* people are going to be churning and turning it over — they must not be *too* worried about it.

        (And in that we can only hope they’re right.)


        “Sorry, I should have said Code of Practice, lol I’m thinking tennis!”

        You know, I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that I knew what you meant, lol. 😛
        (I’m up early to beat a deadline … 😕 )

      • Jenny said

        M, I’m sure these high profile players get sick to death of the endless questions regarding their health/fitness etc.. As you know, there will always be conspiracy theories [usually borne out of ignorance as far as a medical condition is concerned], eg Roger and Mono which one cannot see because they aren’t wearing strapping, they just feel sick and lack energy. Seriously, why would a player lie and withdraw from tournies or a match without good reason? It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve seen Rafa and others in obvious pain, either that or they are extremely good actors! Natural painkilling adrenaline is only temporary. When I fractured my arm in four places I had no pain until 2 hours later, it was just numb and didn’t swell immediately. By the time I got to casualty I was almost screaming in pain and had to be given Pethidine. I know players don’t like to discuss such things, eg Fena and Nalby, but there comes a time when cards have to be laid on the table, I don’t know anyone with any sense who would seriously question a reputable specialist doctor stating fact.

    • jett09 said

      M you made a good point about “Patient’s confidentiality”, obviously Rafa and his team gave the Doctor the permission to announce this.

      Thanks Chipnputt.

      • pepita 64 said

        I don’t see why this Nadal’s doctor intervew came out right now.Of course there is a purpose of Hadal’s team.It is going for 4.5 years now.What BS is that treatment that will cure you for such a short time so that you can run in such a short time
        for 4.5 clay/grass tournaments.But yes this is for the public and not everyone has a medical education.Fans are blind and they believe in everything comes out in the press.This world is realy crazy.

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