Rafael Nadal’s expected recovery time revealed following successful hip surgery

Rafael Nadal chats to the media

Tennis great Rafael Nadal is expected to be out for five more months following surgery on his left hip, bringing an early end to his injury-disrupted 2023 campaign.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion underwent the procedure on Friday evening at a clinic in Barcelona.

Nadal’s team issued an update on Saturday saying the arthroscopic procedure on his left psoas tendon went well, with the damaged areas cleaned and reinforced, while an old labrum injury was also addressed.

“Rafa will begin his progressive functional rehabilitation in a few hours and the normal recovery process is estimated at five months, always taking into account respecting the biological times of said structure,” Benito Perez-Barbadillo said.

The Spaniard, who turned 37 on Saturday, suffered the injury at the Australian Open in January and had expected to only be out for six to eight weeks.

But repeated efforts to rehabilitate it did not work and last month Nadal announced he would miss the French Open for the first time since 2004.

This latest timescale means Nadal is almost certainly out for the rest of the season but he could potentially make his return in Australia in January.

The former world No 1 is already set to slip to outside the top 100 in the ATP Rankings after missing his title defence at Roland Garros and he will most likely drop out of the top 200 after Wimbledon as he reached the semi-final last year.

He played three more tournaments after withdrawing from his last-four clash against Nick Kyrgios at SW19 due to injury, but failed find form as he lost in the last-16 of the US Open and exited the ATP Finals at the group stage.

The 37-year-old played only four matches this year and he has a 4-3 record as he lost both his matches for Spain in the inaugural United Cup before winning his opening clash of the Australian Open against Jack Draper. However, he was stunned in straight sets by Mackenzie McDonald in the next round and, to compound his woes, he also picked up the hip injury which has now ruled him out until potentially next year.

Nadal said last month he envisaged the 2024 season being a farewell tour after repeated injury troubles, with the veteran hoping to play at the tournaments that have meant the most to him with many speculating that Roland Garros could be his last ever event in professional tennis.

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