Rafael Nadal ‘lives with pain and painkillers and has done for over ten years now, his uncle has revealed.
The current world number one has withdrawn from two Grand Slams this year mid-match with injuries, raising questions again over his durability.
However, Toni Nadal, who coached his early career, has revealed that Rafa has never really recovered from the injuries that threatened to undermine his career from an early age.
“Rafael has been living with pain and painkillers since 2005,” Toni said.
“For this reason, he’s considered his well-being above wins and many times he’s told me that he would have liked to win less in exchange for having less pain.”
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It all appears to stem from a foot injury in 2005. Toni recalls: “The specialist we went to told us that Rafael’s career was pretty much finished
“Well, in 2005 Rafael had to constantly live in pain. From that time on, we couldn’t finish training sessions a lot of times.
“A lot of times, almost always, he would have to take a painkiller because the pain would get worse and worse as the games went on.
“Because of some insoles that he started using, which solved his foot problem, he started having problems in his knee, back and other parts of his body.”
Sky Sports analyst talks exclusively to Tennis365.
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