Gilbert Versier, the former head of the orthopaedic department at Vincennes military hospital, explained the origins of Muller-Weiss syndrome, which Rafael Nadal is suffering from.
“It usually affect people who have flat feet. It’s congenital. In some people, the arch of the foot is more pronounced – in other words, there is a greater distance between the sole of the foot and the floor. Others have a fallen arch when the insole loses its curvature and those people tend to be more susceptible to this kind of pathology. It causes the navicular bone to become compressed which eventually develops necrosis. Basically the bone dies, it loses its vascularization,” Doctor Versier explained.
When asked his opinion on Nadal’s case, Versier says he would advise against surgery. “Such a procedure jams up the foot leaving the patient able to walk but not run. That’s why we delay such operations and perform them only on patients who are in a lot of pain and unable to walk properly. Of course that is not the case with Nadal. Any surgical procedure, resection of a part of bone or grafts by taking part of the pelvic bone is a practice which is no longer allowed at the top level of sport,” he concluded.
- With decision to end 2021 season, Rafael Nadal may benefit from post-Roland Garros refresh | tennis.com
Can he recover from this injury at 35, the same way he did when he was 19? Obviously, you can never underestimate the power of Rafa’s determination. Whether it was his foot, or his knees, or his wrist, or his pounding style of play, people have been predicting his imminent physical demise since he was a teenager. And here he is, with 20 major titles.
So maybe Rafa can use this time to recover mentally as well as physically, to start fresh in a quest to retake Roland Garros and win a 21st major title in 2022.
At 35, Nadal doesn’t have as much time to pick himself up as he did at 19. But he knows he can’t rush it. What we know is that he’ll give it 100 percent.
- ‘I am a little bit concerned about the future’ for Rafael Nadal says shocked analyst | tennishead.net
“We kind of expected something like that since he pulled out of Toronto and Cincinnati. We were wondering if he is going to be okay for the US Open and unfortunately he is not okay,” Corretja said.
“It is shocking news because we want Rafa to play in New York, but if he is not 100% to play, it is normal that he takes a while to recover.
“What concerns me a little bit is [the fact that] he pulled out of Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open that means the injury is more serious than we expected and I am a little bit concerned about the future as well.” he added.
- ‘His body is taking a beating,’ Mats Wilander fears for Rafael Nadal | tennishead.com
“I guess when it comes to Rafa we are getting used to him not being able to play,” Mats Wilander told Eurosport.
“He is always trying, he is always ready. Obviously he went over to Washington to play a couple of matches and then to Canada and tried to practice which didn’t work.
“I mean he’s trying, it’s just that he can’t do it. With every year it feels like he’s playing less and less and obviously he’s getting older and his body is taking a beating.
“He must be training hard to even consider playing. I am very sad, I am very worried but I do think he keeps coming back until one day he cannot. The will is still there.”
- Stat of the Day: 2021 US Open to be second Grand Slam without Federer or Nadal since 2000 | tennis.com
The only other time was the 2020 US Open, which Federer missed due to the same right knee injury and Nadal sat out of due to travel concerns.
Before the 2020 US Open, the last Grand Slam that didn’t feature either Federer or Nadal in the main draw was the 1999 US Open, where Federer fell in the second round of qualifying and Nadal hadn’t started playing professional tournaments yet.