Some of you may be wondering how Juan Martin Del Potro dealing with his injury. Will he be back in 2021? Well, we have reasons to be optimistic, but there is still big uncertainty about the exact day of his comeback.
A Career Stopped by Injuries
All tennis players have suffered some injuries during their careers. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal are not an exception. They all struggled with tough injuries at some point in their careers. However, there are some players whose careers have been clearly affected by those injuries and one of them is Del Potro.
The Argentinian has suffered several injuries during his career, but two of them have been a real nightmare for him.
First Big Del Potro Injury: The Wrist
Let’s start with the first big Del Potro injury. It was back in 2014 when he retired in Dubai due to wrist pain. Later that year he underwent surgery and the season ended for him. After a long recovery process, he came back to play the ATP Sidney 2015, where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Mikhail Kukushkin. But his wrist problems persisted, so he underwent surgery again just after that tournament.
He played in the Masters 1000 of Miami later that year but he lost against Vasek Pospisil in straight sets in the first round. Even after that second surgery, he was not able to play without wrist pain and he decided to have a third surgery in June of 2015. That surgery meant a new early end of the season for Del Potro, who went through a long recovery again.
After overcoming the injury, he came back into the court in February 2016 to play in Delray Beach. That year he managed to win the silver medal at the Olympics and conquer the Davis Cup against Croatia. Even the football legend Diego Maradona was supporting him in the grandstand during that historic journey.
That day, Del Potro brought out his best version when he was losing two sets to zero against Marin Cilic. His fighting spirit led him to overcome that difficult situation and Argentina could win the Davis Cup. After the match, he gave thanks to the people that supported him when he was dealing with the injury.
Second Big Del Potro Injury: The Knee
However, after almost 3 years free of injuries, he suffered a patella fracture in Shanghai in 2018. This was the second big Del Potro injury and it forced him to undergo surgery again. He was out of the court for 131 days and after a long recovery, he reappeared once again in Delray Beach in 2019.
Sadly, after playing the clay season he broke his right knee again during his participation in Queen’s. Despite winning his match against Denis Shapovalov he had to withdraw and he underwent a new knee surgery to fix the problem. But this injury became the biggest nightmare for Del Potro, who is still fighting to beat his toughest opponent.
A New Treatment for his Knee in Brazil
Queen’s 2019 was the last tournament Del Potro played as a professional player so far. Then, he has been struggling with this injury for more than one year and in August 2020 he had his third knee surgery.
Besides that, he is trying to find alternative solutions to deal with this lesion. In this regard, last week Del Potro flew to Porto Alegre, Brazil, to receive a new treatment for his right knee.
This treatment consists of applying bone marrow cells to accelerate the recovery of the treated region. If the knee responds in a good way then the physiotherapy work will be key to strengthen the area.
Now is time for optimism and expect that this innovative therapy works well on Del Potro’s knee.
Many Achievements despite the Injuries
Despite a career full of injuries, the Argentinian has been one of the most successful players of the last two decades. He is among, along with Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, and Dominic Thiem, the only players who have broken the hegemony of the Big 3 in the Grand Slams.
Overall, he has won 22 ATP titles during all his career, with the 2009 US Open and 2018 Indian Wells the most remarkable ones. He is also a two-time Olympic medalist, winning bronze in London 2012 and silver in Río de Janeiro 2016. And, as we said before, he is a Davis Cup champion with Argentina in 2016.
In this sense, many tennis fans still remember his US Open win as if it was yesterday. His brilliant serve and forehand led him to win an epic match against the Swiss Roger Federer. He played two more finals in New York but he couldn’t defeat the other two members of the Big 3. Del Potro lost to Rafael Nadal in 2017 and to Novak Djokovic in 2018 despite showing a good level of tennis in both editions.
Del Potro could feel gutted about not being able to win the US Open again despite being so close two consecutive years. He knows how difficult is to be present in a Grand Slam final. Sadly, he knows how cruel can be to deal with hard injuries, and maybe he won’t have many chances to be in that privileged position. But at the same time, this unfinished business of winning the US Open once again is what keeps fueling Del Potro in his fight against the lesion.
The Return in 2021?
Therefore, if there is one career that has been affected by injuries is Del Potro’s one but his time has not come yet. Or at least, he is not disposed to finish his career out off the court.
“La Torre de Tandil” is decided to defeat this cruel and ruthless enemy once again, as he did in the past to overcome his wrist problems. And there is no doubt that he will fight until the end to achieve his goal of playing a tennis match again.
At age of 32, Del Potro has still a lot of tennis in his body and many matches to win. Tennis fans are eager to see that outstanding forehand again and hopefully, this will happen in 2021.
Let’s trust in Del Potro’s fighting spirit to see him on a tennis court sooner than later.
Main Photo from Getty.