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Beyond the Baseline

Brian Baker describes painful healing process from knee surgery

Brian Baker Brian Baker suffered a torn meniscus in his second-round match at the Australian Open. (Andrew Brownbill/AP)

Brian Baker underwent surgery for a torn meniscus at the same Nashville, Tenn., hospital where he had his three hip surgeries. Writing for USA Today, Baker recounted the painful surgery, which took place two weeks ago after he sustained the injury during his second-round match at the Australian Open.

Unfortunately, I think this surgery caused more pain than any of my previous operations. Dr. Elrod warned me that he wanted to rough my knee up a little to promote a better healing response. I can say with absolute certainty that he succeeded in roughing my knee up! For the first week, I was locked in a straight knee brace and was advised not to do much at all. Simple tasks like showering, brushing your teeth, and getting up to use the restroom proved to be extremely difficult. Even sleeping was almost impossible because the brace was so uncomfortable! I am lucky that I have awesome parents who helped me survive the first week. Of course, HBO and Netflix helped, too!

That's one way to get caught up on Breaking Bad.

Baker, 27, is still in a knee brace, but he's already begun the rehabilitation process. He could be back in time for the spring clay-court season, where he began his headline-grabbing run last year. But this will be yet another test of his patience.

I'm not allowed to put any stress on my knee while its bent, so all the exercises are done with a straight leg. I'm thankful that I've been given the clearance to walk with a straight leg, but I can't wait until I'm able to start biking and jogging. Breaking a sweat will feel nice for a change!

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