The news of Rafael Nadal's injury was a bolt from the blue for both him and the fans. The start of the season of the Spaniard represented something extraordinary given the physical problems he had in 2021 and made supporters dream of him.
The defeat in the final at Indian Wells against Taylor Fritz, after 20 consecutive victories and three trophies, seemed only a hiccup for the 35-year-old from Manacor, only to worsen damnably once he discovered the fracture in the third left rib arch, actually remedied already during the semifinal with Carlos Alcaraz.
The estimated recovery times are of 4-6 weeks off, which means that Nadal would return for the Masters 1000 in Madrid or the Internationals of Italy. However, doubts arise about the treatment received by the Majorcan on the court at Indian Wells and José Moron, journalist of the Spanish portal Puntodebreak.com, asked for clarification from a physiotherapist of the ATP Tour, whose name, however, is unknown.
The ATP physiotherapist explains the treatment received by Nadal
The physioterapist said: "What the tournament physiotherapist did is a protocol that exists for a spinal check-up. Rafa told him that he also felt pain and a sense of blockage in his back and, therefore, he activated the protocol.
The thoracic vertebrae is joined to the rib through a cartilage and this forms a joint called the costotransversa. The problem was there. It is true that, knowing now the results of the analyzes, vertebral manipulation is contraindicated for the problem that we later discovered it has.
What he did may have aggravated his pain. What is clear is that improving it did not improve it. Nor can it be said that the damage was caused by the manipulation of the physiotherapist. Nobody can guarantee it. The only thing we can be sure of is that, with that diagnosis, the treatment Rafa received was not the right one." However, the Spanish website Puntodebreak concluded that the 3 minutes available to a player to benefit from medical intervention on the pitch are sometimes not enough to identify the real problem.
With a little more time, perhaps, physiotherapists could be able to better understand the injury and, consequently, treat it in the right way.