|Canadian professional tennis player Milos Raonic has had to withdraw from the French Open today, after having undergone foot surgery less than two weeks before the tennis tournament’s opening rounds.
The Toronto Star reports that Raonic pinched a nerve in his right foot while competing in the Monte Carlo Masters on April 17th. He was forced to withdraw from the quarter-finals there, and tweeted on May 9th that he would receive surgery.
Though he wanted “to be ready to compete as soon as possible,” Raonic knew he would be unable to compete at the Open, one of the most prestigious tennis events in the world.
Fortunately for him, however, the injury is only to the nerve; the foot itself is not affected. That, according to his publicist Austin Nunn, is the silver lining.
“That’s the good news,” Nunn said. “The bad news is every single time [he steps] it literally feels like he’s stepping on a tack or jellyfish. [That] is the equivalent.”
“He’s pushed through it. That’s why this week it looked like he was grimacing almost every single time he was stepping — because he was,” he elaborated.
The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and several nerves, making Raonic’s injury somewhat miraculous in that only the nerve itself was damaged.
After sustaining the injury, the tennis player had two options, according to his doctors: undergo physical therapy and rest, or surgery. Initially opting for the former, Raonic became unsatisfied with the treatment and eventually relented with surgery.
“In our business, we try not to do surgery whenever possible,” Nunn said. “There’s always a risk.”
Though the surgery was a success, Raonic was unable to heal in time for the French Open. On his Twitter page, he lamented his progress but maintained that he would be up and running by The Queens Club Championships (on June 15th) and Wimbledon (on June 29th).
“I am sad to have to unfortunately withdraw from Roland-Garros this year,” Raonic tweeted. “I tried my best to be back and healthy in time after surgery. I will continue my rehab and proceed with preparations for a 100% strong Wimbledon and Queens run.”