Saturday, May 4, 2013

More on David's Double Surgery


Update (06/05)
David is still in Barcelona but he was able to leave the hospital already yesterday (source).
He'll fly back home to Argentina in the next couple of days and then begin rehabilitation.

Four years ago, when David had his first hip surgery in Barcelona, he caught himself wondering whether he'd be able to leave the hospital on his own two feet. Yesterday, undergoing a combined shoulder and hip surgery (conducted by the same team as in 2009), David was apparently more relaxed. According to his camp, even after six hours in the operating room he was still in the mood for making jokes (source).

By now, David is unfortunately a seasoned pro when it comes to having surgery. Hip surgery 2009, hernia/adductor double surgery in 2011 and keeping up his two-year rhythm, the shoulder/hip double surgery now in 2013. On all three occasions little was known about the reasons for those surgical interventions before they took place. Here's a summary of what I've been able to find out in this case.

On closer inspection (by Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro), the numbness in David's shoulder turned out to come from a so-called SLAP tear or lesion. Which seems to be a fairly common shoulder injury, though one that's not easy to diagnose as it's apparently difficult to detect by normal tests and the symptoms can vary.
There are four different types of SLAP tears. In David's case it was Type 2, which requires surgery.

When David had surgery on his left hip in 2009 it was because of a labral tear. An injury he spent over a year playing with, also because apparently it wasn't diagnosed correctly for some time.
With his right hip it seems that he didn't want to be taking the same kind of risk. The problems David was having with his right hip apparently pointed in the directon of another degenerative labral tear, therefore the surgery as a "preventive measure".

But is it realistic or even possible to play competitive tennis four months after these surgeries?
Javier Maquirriain, doctor of the Argentine Davis Cup team:
Generally speaking, recovery from a SLAP lesion takes between three and six months, depending on the patient. The same goes for the hip. It's an injury that happens a bit more often these days but it's also diagnosed earlier so the prognoses are more favourable.
In other words - it's possible but there are no guarantees. Still, David and his doctors must be convinced that it's very much possible, otherwise he wouldn't have risked being able to play the Davis Cup semifinal. - Which will from now on be the main objective. And according to Bernardo Ballero, everything's planned.
Nalbandian is in good spirits. His plan is to work with his team on getting back in time for the Davis Cup semifinal. After the postoperative [treatment at the hospital] he'll begin with a kinesiological rehabilitation before he picks up a racquet again.
David's kinesiologist and old friend Diego Rodriguez is in Barcelona with him. Victoria couldn't accompany him this time, for obvious reasons. But as soon as David gets discharged from the hospital (probably by the middle of next week) he'll be on his way back home to Unquillo. To begin rehabilitation with Diego Rodriguez and also to soon become a father, with the birth of his daughter expected for early June.

How much we'll get to hear from David in the coming weeks and months, well, that's difficult to say at this point. I guess there'll be a round of interviews when he arrives back home in Argentina. But apart from that it'll depend on how much he wants to talk to the media (probably not much). In any case I'll do my best to keep up with David as he tries to get on the road to Prague:
I'm confident that I've taken the right way in order to be able to play tennis again in the shortest possible time.
 Here's hoping he's right and that it's all going to work out.


  1. So sad that he hasn't been able to play a proper season for so long now. But after the first one was always tough. U know and its rlly sad for us now but fingers crossed he can come back for davis cup, just wanna see him play really again, miss that. Hopefulyl we will and gd to see he's in gd mindset. Tho future looks uncertain atm

  2. Poor David! I didn't see this one coming at all and all what I can say is I hope he gets well enough to play the DC cuz I know that what matters the most for him

  3. I'm happy the surgery went well and that David is still optimistic about his comeback to tennis. May he recover well and hopefully he'll give interviews here and there on Argie medias, so we can have some news!
    The future looks uncertain, the DC semifinal looks uncertain, but it's great that he's focusing on training again asap. And if he's not ready in time for DC, so be it...

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this, recover well and strong David. Julia, I'm sorry I haven't commented before, I tried several times, but had problems posting on the site.

    1. Blogger can be a bit capricious sometimes. Sorry about that.

  5. Did the surgery already happened?

  6. When "El Gato Gaudio" and "El Mago Coria" retired from tennis, they were not playing their impressive tennis.

    Coria would be a serious threat for Nadal's hegemony on clay courts, but he had some problems and did not achieve his best again.

    However, David's game is still respectable. David did this last surgery so it means he intends to play some more for now.