June 3, 2023

Nadal faces ‘five months recovery’ after keyhole surgery on hip

Rafael Nadal

(FILES) Spain’s Rafael Nadal waves as he celebrates after victory over Norway’s Casper Ruud during their men’s singles final match on day fifteen of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on June 5, 2022. – Rafael Nadal will announce if he will compete in the French Open on May 18, 2023, amid a long-term injury struggle and some Spanish reports that he will withdraw. The 22-time Grand Slam winner has battled to recover from a hip injury he sustained in January at the Australian Open, not playing since then. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Rafael Nadal’s keyhole surgery on his injured hip was “positive” but he will require a five-month recovery period before playing again, his spokesman said Saturday.

The 22-time Grand Slam title winner, who celebrated his 37th birthday on Saturday, could in theory be back in time for the Davis Cup finals in November.

However, it is likely he will sit out the rest of the season before resuming in 2024 which he has already said will be the last year of his career.

“The surgery was positive,” said his spokesman of the procedure which was carried out in Barcelona.

“The normal recovery process is estimated at five months.”

Nadal said last month that the hip injury had not healed as well as he had hoped and therefore he was taking more time out of the sport.

The Spaniard missed the ongoing French Open, which he has won 14 times, for the first time since 2004.

He will also sit out Wimbledon, where he is a two-time champion, next month.

Nadal had hoped the injury he suffered in a second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January would heal in six weeks.

While he recovers, old rival Novak Djokovic has the chance to break out of the tie for 22 majors by winning a third French Open.

On Friday, Djokovic reached the last 16 in Paris for the 14th successive year and will face Juan Pablo Virallas, the 94th-ranked Peruvian, on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.