Rafael Nadal said Sunday that he cannot keep playing if he has to keep having his troublesome foot numbed, admitting “I can’t keep going like this, but I am working to find a solution”.
Nadal captured a 14th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title with a straight sets win over Casper Ruud at Roland Garros but said his future in the sport remains in doubt.
“It’s obvious that with circumstances that I am playing, I can’t and I don’t want to keep going, so the mindset is very clear. I’m going to keep working to try to find a solution and an improvement for what’s happening in the foot,” said the 36-year-old.
Nadal revealed he needed pain-killing injections in his left foot before every match and will undergo treatment again this week back in Spain.
“If it works, I keep going. If not, it will be another story and I will ask myself if I am ready to do a major surgery which may not guarantee I will be competitive and may take a long time to be back.”
Nadal said that taking anaesthetic injections in the nerves in his foot was the only way he could have got through the tournament.
Now he and his medical team will employ a technique which will burn the nerve using what he described as “radio frequency injections” to “sleep the two nerves”.
Nadal said he intends to play Wimbledon where he is a two-time champion and gets underway in three weeks’ time.
“I’m going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon. That’s it. Wimbledon is not a tournament that I want to miss,” he said.
“I love Wimbledon. So if you ask me if I will be in Wimbledon, I can’t give you a clear answer. Let’s see how the treatment works.”
If the treatment works and he can survive with anti-inflammatories and not anaesthetic, he will be at the All England Club having sat out the tournament last year.
“If I am able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes; to play with anaesthetic injections, no. I don’t want to put myself in that position again.”