“Nightmare” hopefully coming to an end for Fernando Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco hopes that he is nearing the end of what he describes as “a nightmare” period of nine months recovering from a leg injury.
The 36-year-old Spaniard has been in pain for much of the time since suffering the injury last October but believes he may have finally turned the corner. He made his first public appearance for five months at Patrick Mouratoglou’s Ultimate Tennis Showdown last weekend.
Verdasco, a permanent member of the world’s top 100 for more than 16 years, suffered a bone bruise at the top of his right leg while playing Dominic Thiem in Vienna last year. He thought he had recovered by the time he had finished his pre-season training but felt extreme pain again when playing his first match of the new campaign in Doha. He played with pain-killers and anti-inflammatories at the Australian Open before cutting short a trip to South America and going to Las Vegas, where he worked with Gil Reyes, Andre Agassi’s former fitness coach.
When the lockdown started following the cancellation of Indian Wells Verdasco underwent PRP treatment (platelet-rich plasma therapy), only for the pain to return when he started practising again two months later. A subsequent MRI scan revealed that the problem had not gone away.
“It was a big bruise and the muscles were not in very good condition,” Verdasco said after playing at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown last weekend. “I spoke with doctors all over the world that I feel comfortable with. I have one doctor in Los Angeles with whom I have more confidence in all these problems, but obviously I couldn’t go to LA to do the treatment, so I went instead to doctors in Madrid.”
Another six weeks of treatment finally brought some relief. “Two or three weeks ago it would have been impossible for me to play here at UTS and it was only last week when I really started to feel the difference and I finally decided to come,” the world No 52 said. “The doctors told me to be careful, but I decided to play and see how my body would react.”
Verdasco lost his first match at UTS against Corentin Moutet but won his second against Benoit Paire. “For the moment I’m feeling good, though I’m a bit sore,” he said. “After next weekend I will have another MRI scan and hopefully it won’t have got any worse. Then I can keep going with treatment until the tournaments in the US, assuming that they go ahead.”
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