Ace Indian singles tennis player Yuki Bhambri, who is looking to return to court this year after a long injury hiatus, revealed that it was Rafael Nadal’s long-time doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro who had got his diagnosis right after others were unable to do so.
The former Indian no.1 singles player was playing in Antwerp ATP in October 2018 when he had injured a tendon on his right knee. The New Delhi-born player took much longer than expected to recover from the injury, keeping him away from the court for a year and a half.
“It took longer to get the diagnosis right this time and the treatment was taking time as well, as I tried various consultants without proper outcome,” says the 27-year-old Florida resident, in an interview with Olympic Channel.
However, when all the options appeared to have exhausted, Yuki Bhambri decided to visit Angel Ruiz-Cotorro in Barcelona.
“I tried treatment in America, which took a lot of time with no clarity on the diagnosis. That [clarity] came only after I met Rafael Nadal’s doctor in Spain. I finally got some success in Barcelona,” says Yuki Bhambri.
Yuki Bhambri’s injury was tricky as he had a partial tear in the tendon that prevented him from going under the knife and consequently took a long route to recovery.
“It [the tear] was in between the tendon, so I couldn’t really go under the knife. Hence, the recovery required me to take rest for a long period alongside some specific exercises for my knee.
“I had to spend a few months in Barcelona with the doctors and physios and had to take multiple injections as a part of the procedure. Now, I am back in Delhi and hitting tennis balls in practice. However, the body still needs time,” Bhambri explains.
A graduate from the University of Santander in Medicine and Surgery, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro has further specialized in Sports Medicine. He has been associated with numerous world-class athletes for years, most notably Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and the Spanish Olympic team.
Getting the proper diagnosis, however, wasn’t the end of the recovery road for Bhambri as he has now been following it up with regular exercises to get back to speed.
“I haven’t played for long, so the body is deconditioned. I am looking to get back to rigorous training but must be cautious about not hurting my knee at the same time. I have got back 70- 80 per cent of my shape,” Bhambri added.
While making a comeback at the Tata Open Maharashtra was the primary plan for Yuki Bhambri, he is yet to find his feet after staying away for so long.
However, the upcoming clay season is where the right-hander wants to announce his comeback.