Rafael Nadal beginning treatment on foot injury in hope of prolonging career
Rafael Nadal will begin make-or-break new treatment on his chronic foot injury next week which he hopes will save his career.
The 36-year-old won his 14th French Open on Sunday with a comprehensive defeat of NorwegianCasper Ruud.
But Nadal revealed he has only been able to play at his favourite event by taking anaesthetic injections before every match to numb his foot, a procedure he is not willing to continue.
Should the new treatment, radiofrequency ablation to the nerve in his foot, not work then the Spaniard admits he will have to consider surgery, casting major doubt over what remains of his glittering career.
However, should it prove successful, Nadal says he intends to play at Wimbledon which begins in only three weeks.
“It’s obvious that with circumstances that I am playing (with), I can’t and I don’t want to keep going, so the mindset is very clear,” he said.
“I was able to play during these two weeks with extreme conditions. I have been playing with an injections on the nerves. That’s why I was able to play during these two weeks, because I have no feeling in my foot.
“Everybody knows how much this tournament means to me, so I wanted to keep trying and to give myself a chance here. But it’s obvious that I can’t keep competing with the foot asleep.
“So that’s the thing that we are planning to do the next week. It’s going to be a radiofrequency injection on the nerve to try to burn the nerve a little bit and create the impact that I have now on the nerve for a long period of time.
“That’s what we are going to try. If that works, I’m going to keep going. If not then it’s going to be another story. And then I’ll ask myself if I am ready to do a major thing, a major surgery that doesn’t guarantee me to be able to be competitive again take a long time to be back.
I'm going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon
“Hopefully it works and can take it out a little bit the pain that I have. If that happens, let’s see if I am able to keep going for the grass season.
“I’m going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon. That’s it.”
Nadal had earlier reclaimed his crown as the king of clay with a dominant victory over Ruud.
Roland Garros royalty returned to the throne on Jubilee weekend as Nadal roared to a 6-3 6-3 6-0 win over the first-time finalist.
Ruud’s name was added to a list of victims also including Djokovic, Federer, Ferrer, Mariano Puerta, Robin Soderling, Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka.
Gracious in defeat, he said: “This is a first time for me so let’s see how I do. The first and most important thing is to congratulate Rafa.
“It’s your 14th time, 22nd all round in Grand Slams. We all know what a champion you are.
“Today I got to feel how it is to play against you in a final. It’s not easy and I’m not the first victim. I know there have been many before.”