Kei Nishikori hints what could push him into retirement amid latest injury struggles

Nishikori has had brutal luck with injuries over the last few years.

by Dzevad Mesic
Kei Nishikori hints what could push him into retirement amid latest injury struggles
© Getty Images Sport - Adam Hagy

Kei Nishikori underlines his goal and wish remains to continue his pro tennis career but admits that may be it for him if he is forced to undergo another surgery. Nishikori, who will be turning 34 on Friday, had surgery on his hip in 2022 January. While rehabbing, Nishikori sustained an ankle injury. After being sidelined for 20 months and returning to tennis in June, Nishikori suffered a knee injury in just his fourth tournament back. Nishikori's knee recovery hasn't gone as planned as the Japanese hasn't played any tournaments since late July. 

"My knee is getting better... trying various ways (of treatments). Had no pain in my hip, but there still a bit remains something wrong, that can also cause trouble in my knee. I've been playing tennis on the middle of court without lateral movement for last couple of months. It sometimes seems to need just two more weeks (for recovery), other times it seems to need two more months, it's been like this. We have been trying to find a solution. As for ankle injury, it was tough too. We needed to separate treatments (to remove ganglion) into several times because it could not be removed all at once... the ganglion kinda occurred recurrently while diminishing, so I had to have treatment once a week for almost two months," Nishikori told Sports Hochi.

Nishikori hints that could be it if he has to undergo another surgery

For Nishikori, it was certainly heartbreaking and devastating to find himself dealing with an injury just after returning from a long absence. 

"Now I'm feeling like it's twice or three times as hard as it was before I came back. Two months ago, I was completely sure I would retire if I had to have another surgery, like, 'I can't take it anymore'. Now I feel a bit calm seeing a little daylight and playing tennis. But if I had to have another surgery, I might not be able to hold up. Don't want to end my career with injury, but it depends on how I feel... at the same time I wanna keep playing from the bottom of my heart. So it's a battle between my motivation & a limit of my body/my mind," Nishikori said.

It remains to be seen if or when Nishikori will be able to play again. 

Kei Nishikori