Rafael Nadal will play at Wimbledon, starting with Tuesday first round, despite dealing with a chronic left foot injury.
After his historic 14th French Open win a few weeks ago, he underwent a procedure on his foot and continues treatment on it to get fully back up to speed.
Speaking with the media ahead of Wimbledon, the 22-time Grand Slam champion admitted he is mostly pain-free. However, he isn’t sure how long he’ll feel better.
“The feeling and overall feelings are positive, no, because I am in a positive way in terms of pain, and that’s the main thing,” Nadal said, via ESPN.
The injury Nadal is suffering from is called Mueller–Weiss syndrome. He received nerve injections during the French Open so he could play. Additionally, the 36-year-old underwent a radio-frequency nerve ablation after the French Open, a procedure that focuses on the nerve causing him pain in his left foot.
“Well, is obvious that if I am here, it’s because things are going better,” Nadal said regarding his procedure. “If not, I would not be here. So quite happy about the things, how evolved. I can’t be super happy because I don’t know what can happen.”
The pain can cause Nadal to even struggle to walk on certain days. As one can imagine, this would make playing tennis at the highlight level quite difficult. The Spaniard explained his current condition during his press conference.
“First of all, I can walk normal most of the days, almost every single day,” Nadal said. “That’s for me the main issue. When I wake up, I don’t have this pain that I was having for the last year and a half, so quite happy about that. And second thing, practicing. I have been in overall better, honestly, no? Since the last two weeks, I didn’t have not one day of these terrible days that I can’t move at all. Of course, days better; days a little bit worse.”
After the French Open, Nadal admitted that he doesn’t know how much longer he will play for because of this injury. He currently leads all of men’s tennis history with 22 Grand Slam titles. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both have 20.
Nadal enters Wimbledon as the No. 2 seed. He will be attempting a calendar Grand Slam after winning the first two majors of the year, a feat has only been accomplished by five players in tennis history: Don Budge (1938), Maureen Connolly (1953), Rod Laver (1962 and 1969), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988).
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