Rafael Nadal marks his 37th birthday with surgery, instead of swinging a tennis racket during the 2023 Roland Garros.
Only a couple of weeks ago, the Spaniard announced that he won't be competing at the 2023 Roland Garros, and that most likely, the 2024 season will be his last as a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour.
Now, Nadal started his journey toward the self that he imagines competing on the ATP Tour next season. The 36-year-old is undergoing a crucial surgery tonight in Barcelona. The procedure, targeting the troublesome left psoas muscle, is an attempt to remedy the persistent issue that has sidelined him from competitive play since the beginning of the year.
The psoas muscle, a primary connector between the spine and the leg, has an indispensable role in a tennis player's performance. Nadal, known for his robust physical strength and style of play, has had his psoas muscle put to a severe test throughout his career and it showed this season.
The procedure, an arthroscopic surgery, will be conducted by an expert medical team consisting of Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, Nadal's long-standing physician, and the renowned duo Dr. Marc Philippon and Dr. Ramon Vilaró. The Barcelona Medical Center, known for its cutting-edge facilities and history of successful sports surgeries, sets the stage for this crucial moment in Nadal's career.
This surgery comes at a time in Nadal's career marked by the inevitable impact of time that also his greatest rival Novak Djokovic experiences. The question of Nadal's return looms large over the tennis community and the update about his surgery should be available on Saturday morning.
As the world awaits the outcome of Nadal's surgery, the focus shifts to the significance of the surgery being held on the eve of his 37th birthday. It stands as a poignant reminder of the vulnerability of even the greatest athletes.