(Emiliano Lasalvia/La Nacion)
In the wake of David's first tennis practice on Wednesday, 13 weeks to the day after his surgery on May 13th (could it be that someone's being a little superstitious, here?) La Nacion have published an article that includes quotes from David and his team about their impressions after those first twenty minutes of training. A couple of days have past since and I wish I could've posted this earlier. But it's still an interesting read, I think.
I'll chiefly focus on the quotes from this one...
Nalbandian is radiant [after practice] and showing some of the signs of this new phase, like the short hair and the willingness to face the press he has displayed this year. Therefore he starts with joke, coming from the court, sweating as if he had just played five sets. "And? You think you can beat me?" Sure, the difference is so big that the answer the real [= fit] Nalbandian gave to a fan might be the same he could give to the Nalbandian in recovery: "I'll beat you with one hand and without moving from the middle of the court..."
"It's important to return to the tennis court, because that's where you get to see how you are. But my goals still are winning a Grand Slam and the Davis Cup, and not playing for 20 minutes."
"I'm fine. I've been waiting for this day. I wasn't nervous but the guys from my team, they were a little nervous. On court you get to see how the development has been [so far]. Everything went very well. It's only been 20 minutes and it feels good to be sweating again. I want to thank my family and my whole team, who've always been by my side. It's in these difficult times where you struggle because being injured you need to be careful the whole time and they've always been there for me."
[Anxiety?] "Yes, a little bit. But I also knew that it was only 20 minutes and everything was going well. It didn't stop me from wanting to go on court. When I start to move and see how I'm doing other things, it will get more complicated. In two or three weeks when I start to move more on court, there'll be a little fear and I'll really get to see how well I am. For now, everything is fine and that's good, but it's not really anything to go by."
"Did you see how well he was doing? It's very important to start moving and get an idea of how you feel. He looks good and he's doing well."
"He's feeling good, eager, wanting to play, having some doubts but gaining more confidence every day. The tests I just showed him contain objective data about the progress he has been making. He is feeling better, above all he's feeling better than he did before surgery. In everyday life it's ten points. During the next month we will try our best to make him gain confidence on court and go back to training normally again."
"There's still a lot of work to be done."
"Theory is one thing and practice is another. So what we've seen during the rallies was good. He's eager to return, that is very clear. But he's handling the problem of anxiety well because he knows that he won't officially return until January. If he feels good, maybe he'll play an exhibition in December [i.e. Copa Argentina]."
Nalbandian is in permanent contact with his Spanish doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro. In addition, Rodriguez sends him weekly reports. Around the 20th of next month, Nalbandian will travel to Barcelona for a week of practice there under the supervision of the physician, the man behind the recovery plan that, beginning directly after the operation, looks like this : 1st month - maximum care and protection, 2nd month - mobility, 3rd month - strengthening, 4th month - dynamics and transition to tennis, 5th and 6th month - increasing training intensity. Nalbandian will have physical workouts at 90 percent and tennis training sessions at 100 percent. Because of the surgery, he will have to be careful with his hip from now on until his retirement.
(Emiliano Lasalvia/La Nacion)