Patellar Tendonitis vs. Rafael Nadal

Boris GodzinevskiCorrespondent IIJune 26, 2009

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 16:  Rafael Nadal of Spain jumps to play a forehand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in his semi-final match during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 16, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. Nadal won the match in three sets, 3-6, 7-6 and 7-6.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Now I'm not a doctor, but then again, few sports writers are doctors. Those writers that have medical training probably failed medical school because honestly, if you were a doctor, would you have the time to write about sports? Maybe if they were retirement, they could dapple in sports writing

But, let's get on to my point.

I've been called out as a Nadal hater, and though there is merit in these accusations, every individual has their biases, and when talking about Federer vs. Nadal, I may get a little jumpy.

However, in this article, I'll discuss Nadal, just Nadal, and his road to recovery.

Tendinitis is what every athlete should fear; of course, some sports are less strenuous on your tendons than others, but regardless, there's always a chance you can get it.

The worst part of this heinous injury is that it is not completely preventable, not until you actually get it, do you have any opportunity to make a game plan.

Simply put, every individual has their own body, it's why some people have to run five kilometres a day to maintain a healthy body weight, and others can eat twice a day at McDonalds and not gain any significant weight.

That said, there are different types of tendinitis: the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and knee are the most common areas for tendinitis as well as your Achilles' heel.

It's hard to say which is the worst, but generally, your legs are tougher to heal, mainly because you're using them all the time.

If you've taken part in sports past high school and have friends who have, you probably have at least some experience with a range of injuries. Dislocation gets labeled as mild, and fractures heal quicker while breaking bones outright is never a good thing.

When an athlete breaks his or her hand, because it's possible to operate with one hand, they can conscientiously put less pressure on it.

Now, if you break your foot, it's tougher. You probably have to use crutches. and even then, it's difficult to relieve the strain on your foot. That's your foot; you can still use your whole leg, so imagine injuring your knees.

Due to our clumsiness, all of us have probably walked into something time and again. We get a little bruise, and we walk it off.

Considering tendinitis strikes on the inside of your body, it's hard to walk it off.

How important are your legs? Ask yourself how often you have to use them; do you commute to work by walking to the subway? Do you sit in a chair most of the time or a nice couch at home?

The day in the life of a professional athlete always contains training. Having a day off doesn't mean watching old movies and sipping some beer; it means you have time to train for the upcoming game. When your season is over, it means you have time to improve yourself for the next one; it never ends.

There are a slew of reasons why most people are not professional athletes: Physical strength, natural talent, interest, etc.

Most of us do not have the determination or will to become a professional athlete, even if we think we do.

Now, I don't care much for golf, but many people do. When you ask them how often they golf, the general answer is once a week if not less. I often wonder, if given the opportunity, how many golf fans could take golfing roughly 300 days a year for a decade.

And that's golf, a sport that, with all due respect, is not very physical. I often argue that bowling is more demanding on the body.

Tennis on the other hand is one of the most rigorous sports known to man, if I had to do a breakdown it would be as so:

1. Rugby

2. Ice Hockey

3. Tennis

Yes, call me crazy, but of all the widely played sports, I argue that tennis is the third-most strenuous on the body.

Soccer/football fans may argue against this, but consider that during the play of these sports, you often get breaks when your team is driving the ball, and in soccer, you're only using your legs and feet.

American Football is a contact sport no doubt, but you constantly get breaks, and few players get hit on every play. In fact, no player gets hit on every play, and you get pads and helmets.

Tennis is a continuous strain; you're constantly moving, using your legs, feet, wrists, and shoulders to be precise. Moreover, you're constantly looking at a ball usually going faster than a car on the highway.

If you question the intensity of tennis, you should ponder that image.

And now we get back to Nadal. To think a man of his calibre playing at the elite level on a constant basis, tendinitis does not only challenge him to change his game but his lifestyle as well. Now that "The Bull " knows his limits, what about his future?

One may suggest Nadal needs to quit hard courts, but that would be insane. We know he's not going to quit any slams.

However, choosing to opt out of half of the ATP Master tournaments played on hard courts would not be a bad idea. The best way to recover from tendinitis is to take a break; take some anti-inflammatory medicine and change your regiment for the future.

However Nadal's workout routine has made him a remarkable player, and rest (I am sure) is not on his mind; this brings into question what his approch will be.

Agassi managed to find a way succeed despite his back problems. He opted to miss many of the ATP Master tour events and continued to excel at slams, winning the Australian Open and making the U.S. Open Final in his later years.

Nadal can follow this schedule for the next year or so because a year is generally the minimum time slot to fully recover. Then, who knows, maybe Nadal can just push himself for two years and take another break.

All in all, I hope more tennis fans realize the severity of this injury. I would prefer having two of my ribs, my foot, and my hand broken than have to suffer tendinitis in my knee.

Sport is a cruel mistress.