Emma Raducanu, who fought her way to a US Open title in 2021, is facing a summer of surgery on both her hands and ankle. Set to drop out of the world’s top 100, she is likely to miss the French Open and Wimbledon as she aims to resolve a number of long-term fitness issues.
The British star’s management team have outlined that she will need to have procedures on both her hands and her left ankle to address a recurring injury in each of them. The first procedure on her right hand took place Wednesday, and her management are confirming that she is now expected to have a second operation in the next two weeks.
It will be a significant setback for Raducanu, who was unable to compete at the Madrid Open last week after pulling out of the event due to a hand problem. The 20-year-old said she had been battling the problem for ten months, which has left her with an “irritated” wrist that will take time to repair.
In a statement posted on her social media accounts, Raducanu revealed that she had a “minor procedure” carried out on her right hand and that she will need a similar operation on her left hand in the next few days. She has been suffering from a wrist condition that is caused by the formation of bony spurs in her wrist, which can cause inflammation when she swings a racket or hits the ball on a golf club.
Earlier this year, she suffered a rolled ankle in the opening round of her first tournament of the season, in Auckland, and that is also thought to have been a cause of her wrist problems. She has been struggling to play competitively for several months, having missed a lot of training and matches because of the pain in her wrists and ankle.
She is expected to return to action in the summer, but her management are not predicting an exact date of her return to competition. It will be important for her to stay fit, but a rushed recovery could leave her out of shape by the time she is ready to make a serious impression on the court again.
Ralph Rogers, a consultant in regenerative orthopaedics and sports medicine, told Sky Sports that she will have to be “match fit” when she returns. He added: “If she is not fit enough to play, then it will be more than frustrating for her. She will have to spend a lot of time in rehabilitation and she will need to train in a specific way.”
The operation will involve shaving down the bony spurs in her wrist, which are believed to be causing her problems. It will then be possible to work on strengthening the wrist, which will help prevent future injuries from occurring.
If Raducanu is able to overcome her wrist problem, then it should give her the confidence to go on and win more big-name matches as she tries to build on her US Open victory. It might also see her enjoy a new appreciation of the sport, which has taken her on an unexpected and often turbulent journey in the last year.