By James Waterson Photo Credit: Tony Chang
(July 23, 2011) Canada’s Milos Raonic said he could make his return to tennis from a hip injury he acquired at Wimbledon in time for the U.S. Open.
Raonic, the 20-year-old World No. 28, injured his hip during the first set of his second round match against Gilles Muller. He slipped on the grass and twisted his leg, and although he served out the game to take a 3-2 lead he decided he couldn’t continue.
The Canadian went to Vail, Colorado, where his hip was operated on by Dr. Mark Phillipon, a doctor who has operated on baseball star Alex Rodriguez, golfer Greg Norman, hockey player Mario Lemieux, and Tyson Gay, a sprinter.
Raonic said he could have delayed the surgery, but the longer he waited the more complicated it would become.
“I’m 20, and will heal very well. When I heard that in my situation I would be able to come back quite quickly, and not miss that much … I train a few weeks in the summer anyway, so it made a lot of sense to me,” he said in a phone conference Friday. “I just wanted to put it in the past, put it behind me.”
The 20 year old said he was optimistic about the result of the operation.
“It’s going to help improvement my movement, my mobility and is going to add a lot of range of motion and flexibility to my game,” he said in a conference call Friday. “It’s going to allow me to reach another level when I come back. And that’s really the positive outcome.”
Despite his optimism, Raonic said he will still take an measured approach to his return.
“I don’t know, I’m taking it week by week. The doctor really didn’t say any limitations; he said, ‘Go by the person’s feeling.’ He looks at it as, ‘Is the athlete strong enough?’ And leg strength has never been an issue for me,” Raonic said.
“I wasn’t walking for awhile so I lost a bit. Getting that back, and feeling competitive and 100 per cent after that, I’ll be back on Tour.”