Kei Nishikori reflects on hip surgery, reveals fear he has ahead of return

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Kei Nishikori reflects on hip surgery, reveals fear he has ahead of return

Kei Nishikori, 32, admitted he reached the point where undergoing a hip surgery was neccessarily if he wanted to avoid more serious hip problems. After being forced to end his 2021 season a bit prematurely, Nishikori was aiming to be ready for the start of the 2022 season.

But Nishikori wasn't glad with the progress he was making and in January he announced a hip surgery. Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, is now playing with a metal following two hip surgeries. Murray hasn't been able to return to his old level post-hip surgery and Nishikori admits he fears he might lose a step when he returns from his hip surgery.

Nishikori: Before the surgery, the pain just wouldn't go away

"(Before the surgery) I was just feeling my way with pain, trying many treatment for three or four months or having a rest, but pain didn't go away.

If I had not had surgery I'd have got a metal hip like Murray, so I'd say it was severe injury. I was much worried, felt like I'm done without my legs (footwork). Murray was able to hit every ball back, that was his strength, but (after surgery) he lost that a bit, I'm afraid a bit it will happen to me," Nishikori said, via Wowowtennis.

Nishikori was targeting to return to action at the start of the North American hard court swing but he has been forced to delay his return.

Last week, the Winston-Salem Open organizers announced that Nishikori decided to return his main draw wildcard. Nishikori may be out of Winston-Salem but he is still aiming to compete at the US Open. "My footwork is improving a lot, for every move I feel almost no pain, can make a dash, lateral movement is well too.

When I become able to move freely (back and forth and laterally) during point play practice, I'd say I'm ready, it needs a bit more time," Nishikori said.