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Did Nadal’s latest surgery solve his hip injury?

Rafael Nadal surgery
Rafael Nadal. Photo/Inquirer Sports
  • Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal recently had keyhole surgery
  • He will remain off the court for five months
  • He had recurring hip injuries keeping him off the game

After skipping the 2023 French Open, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal recently had keyhole surgery to assess how bad his hip injury is.

Nadal’s hip injury blew up at the Australian Open in 2023 forcing him to exit before the quarterfinals. He explained that it was such a pain for him and that he had never felt such ever before with any of his injuries.

With the injuries he sustained at the Australian Open early in the year, the 22-time grand slam champion then anticipated missing six to eight weeks of play. However, nearly five months later, he still isn’t fully recovered.

He now admits that his team still wasn’t able to come up with a solution forcing him to miss the showdown at Roland Garros for the first time in nearly two decades. The Spaniard, announced in May that he would be taking a break, for the rest of the 2023 season.


Nadal’s team sent a public statement that the Spaniard underwent a keyhole surgery last week on Friday. Its intent was to establish the real cause of the hip injury and how bad it was. The 14-time French Open winner had an arthroscopic examination of his left psoas muscle in Barcelona.

Rafael Nadal clay court

Rafael Nadal clay court. Photo/CNN

He then said that the surgery was successful and that, he will take five months to recover before returning to the court.

“Everything went well and the arthroscopy was on the left psoas tendon that has kept me out of competition since January,” he tweeted. “An old injury to the labrum of my left hip was also regularised, which will surely help the better evolution of the tendon.

I will start progressive functional rehabilitation immediately and the normal recovery process they tell me is five months, if all goes well,” he added.”


He will retire after the 2024 French Open, a few weeks before he turns 38. Speaking post-surgery to Mail Sport, he says his biggest motivation for going for the surgery is in a bid to book a spot on the ATP Tour in 2024.

Admittedly, he remarks that gone are the days when he was highly competitive. This now makes 2024 his final year on the circuit. His surgery was in a bid to stop and give himself a chance to appreciate what he has always loved.

Nevertheless, Nadal maintains that even with the surgery, he can’t guarantee much because anything can happen. However, the goal for the next season is to play in all the tournaments that are always significant for him during his tennis career.

Nadal mentioned the Malaga Davis Cup finals in November as a potential time when he would next be seen playing on the court, but he refrained from making any hard predictions.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal at the Barcelona Open. Photo/ATP

His absence from the French Open, a competition he has dominated for the past 20 years, is also greatly felt. Pictures of the Spaniard and monuments to its 14-time champion are everywhere on the grounds.

Were it not for the keyhole surgery, Nadal would have made a run for a 15th French Open Grand Slam title. He is always the icon of French clay courts and will always be.  His exit gives rise to fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who is quickly coming up as the clay court heir apparent. Alacarz, 20, holds Nadal in high regard as his mentor.

Not having a chance to play with him this year made him feel sad because it’s something he always looked up to.

“I felt bad when I heard that Rafa was not able to play here. As a fan of tennis, I always love to watch Rafa playing and learning from him. For him to be here around the locker rooms is normally great. So it was tough for me when I heard he was not here,” he reacted to Nadal’s announcement that he would miss the 2023 French Open.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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