Rafael Nadal surgery shows ‘he still wants to compete’

Rafael Nadal fixing his headband

Rafael Nadal’s decision to undergo surgery on his troublesome hip proves that “he still feels that he can come back”, according to former world No 2 Alex Corretja.

22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal first injured his hip during his second-round defeat at the Australian Open in January and was initially expected to return to action after eight weeks on the sidelines.

However, eight weeks have turned into nearly five months and he announced in May that he would miss the defence of his French Open title with his return date still up in the air, although he is hopeful of making a full recovery and competing at the highest level before retiring after the 2024 season.

There was no mention of surgery during the press conference a few weeks ago, but on Friday his representative Benito Perez-Barbadillo announced that he underwent arthroscopic surgery to check his left psoas muscle with the results expected within a few days.

During an interview with Eurosport, Corretja feels the operation is a positive step for Nadal.

“Well, we heard that he was going to try something different that didn’t work until now, and of course, we were hearing that he might have a surgery. We didn’t know when,” the two-time French Open finalist said.

“And Benito Perez-Barbadillo – he was the one giving this to the press, you know.

“Yes, it is a shame to read that Rafa is having a surgery while Roland Garros is going on, but at the same time, it’s a hope. He had the surgery in Barcelona, and they said that they’ll let us know how it was.

“I think it is important. That shows that Rafa – he still wants to be there, he still wants to find solutions for his injury, you know. That means that he still feels that he can come back.”

Corretja’s fellow Eurosport pundit and former British No 1 Tim Henman is also hoping for good news from the veteran Spaniard.

“Fingers crossed we always wish Rafa well and want to see him back. Obviously since he’s been out since the Australian Open he’s been trying all sorts of different therapies to get back on court but they haven’t worked,” he said.

“So now to have surgery it’s obviously serious, so this can be the solution so that he can be healthy so he can train and build up to get back on the match court. That’s what he wants, that’s what we want and all the tennis fans. We miss Rafa at any tournament let alone Roland-Garros.”

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal’s shocking rankings drop confirmed as he undergoes surgery

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