Former British tennis star Laura Robson disagrees with Boris Becker’s assessment that Emma Raducanu’s multiple surgeries will be “career-threatening”, using modern-day examples of players returning from similar operations. Raducanu announced earlier this month that she was going under the knife to have surgery on both her wrists after experiencing severe pain in her hands.
She had previously hoped to play through the pain barrier, but a decision was made to undergo surgery in order to completely eradicate the issue moving forward. It’s the first time Raducanu has been forced to take several months out to recover from a severe injury since breaking onto the WTA Tour two years ago.
For tennis icon Becker, he’s concerned about Raducanu having to undergo surgery so early in her career, calling the surgeries “career-threatening”. But Robson, who herself had to contend with injury issues throughout her playing career, doesn’t share the same pessimism as Becker.
“There’s been quite a lot of talk about how the wrist is, like, the end of the world!” Robson told the Telegraph. “But I was thinking to myself, ‘I know just as many people who had successful operations.’
“Take [former US Open runner-up] Madison Keys: maybe two years ago she had a wrist operation with the same surgeon that I had in the States and it was totally successful. She wasn’t even out for very long. Plus, every injury is different.
“I had almost a super-flexible joint. It was getting too much wear and tear because it was just moving too much. So by the time I even started feeling pain, it was already quite far down the line in terms of damage.
“Emma’s issue is with bumps on the bone; it’s actually more the top of the hand than the wrist joint really.” Robson did stress the importance for her compatriot to make the most of her “break” before undergoing what is set to be an intense rehabilitation process.
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“It seems like Emma is having a bit of a break, which is probably quite nice after going non-stop from the US Open all the way through,” said Robson. “The rehab after an operation is never easy. So in this first stage where you actually can’t do very much, I think it’s so important to relax a little bit.
“That’s what I always used to try and do, because you’re in for a bit of a slog when you start physio again. You’ll be at the National Tennis Centre every day, knowing in your mind, ‘Okay, I’m here for the next three months, religiously.’ So just that week or two period before everything starts and you’ve got the surgery done, got the cast on, can’t actually do much, I think it’s so important to stay fresh.”
It’s been reported that Raducanu is eyeing a return to the courts in autumn, although the US Open is expected to come too early.
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