Rafael Nadal sets sights on 2019 after surgery to remove ‘foreign body floating’ in ankle


Rafael Nadal is determined to start 2019 in the best possible shape after undergoing surgery on his ankle.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner was forced to withdraw from the ATP Finals on Monday as he is still recovering from the abdominal injury that kept him out of the Paris Masters.

The decision to miss the season-ending event in London also gave him an opportunity to have surgery on a long-standing ankle problem and his doctor, Dr Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, explained the procedure.

“Rafa Nadal has undergone an arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle to remove a foreign body floating inside his right ankle. There was small piece that prevented him from moving well, and we decided to solve the problem now so we can start the next season in the best condition,” he told Cadenaser.com.

“The operation lasted about 35 minutes.”

He added: “The goal is to reach the Australian Open in the best possible condition.”

Nadal started the year under an injury cloud and was forced to retire from the Australian Open quarter-final due to injury and then missed the American hard-court season before returning at the Monte Carlo Masters.

He played the whole clay-court and grass-court seasons, but his injury woes struck again at the US Open where he was forced to retire from his semi-final.

Ruiz-Cotorro admits his “chronic injuries” have played a major role.

“We have to realise the number of games he plays every year, this year there have been uncontrollable circumstances, because he has chronic injuries,” he said.

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