Wrist surgeon reveals horror details of Nick Kyrgios' injury and how bad it looked

At one point last year, Kyrgios couldn't even function normally due to wrist pain.

by Dzevad Mesic
Wrist surgeon reveals horror details of Nick Kyrgios' injury and how bad it looked
© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Nick Kyrgios' wrist injury was far more concerning than initially believed as Doctor Michael Sandow reveals the Australian tennis star was looking "very depressed and disabled" when they met last year in Adelaide. 

12 months ago, Kyrgios came to Wimbledon but major wrist pain and discomfort didn't allow him to play. Then during a wrist check in the United States, the 29-year-old Australian was told that the scapholunate ligament in his wrist was fully ruptured. 

It was a serious wrist injury - and after consulting with the specialists in the United States - Kyrgios was advised to reach out to Australian wrist specialist Sandow, who is worldwide known as one of the top wrist surgeons. Before undergoing surgery, Kyrgios was having difficulties even opening his car handle and it wasn't only about playing pro tennis but also the Australian being able to function normally. 

"When I first talked to Nick, he was very depressed and looking at never playing tennis again," Dr. Sandow told The Canberra Times

"He had very nasty wrist instability with a tear that can create significant wrist bone collapse and leads inevitably to arthritis. He was quite disabled when I first saw him.

"All he wanted to do was feed himself and do light activities, and the ANAFAB was to be the solution."

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios © Getty Images Sport - Elsa

Dr. Sandow: Kyrgios was snuck into the hospital, him playing tennis again is a miracle 

Since Kyrgios didn't want anything to be public, he agreed with the Calvary Adelaide Hospital to be snuck into the hospital and have a secret surgery. The surgery ended up being successful and nobody knew that it even happened. 

"It was funny, we actually snuck him in for the surgery and nobody knew. We brought him into the bottom carpark, snuck him to the top floor ward, then to theatre and back to the ward, and no media found out he was in Adelaide for wrist surgery," Dr. Sandow recounted. 

Nine months after undergoing a very serious and complicated wrist surgery, Kyrgios is working on returning to tennis. Reflecting on everything, Dr. Sandow says all wrist specialists would agree that the 2022 Wimbledon finalist playing tennis again is "quite amazing."

"Nick's now playing tennis again. If you talk to anyone in the wrist specialist world they would be quite amazed. You just don't get these results," Dr. Sandow said.

"If he was playing football you could tape it up, but in tennis he's putting huge amounts of load through the wrist, and you're looking at a 12-month return date - he's hitting balls at nine months.

"There's no reason he won't have a pretty normal wrist for the rest of his life."

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios © Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Kyrgios: It has been brutal, this is surreal

For Kyrgios himself, what Dr. Sandow was able to do with his wrist and make it work again is unbelievable. Also, Kyrgios added that "no one" has previously returned to tennis from this type of wrist injury. 

"The process has honestly been brutal," Kyrgios said.

"The surgery was almost 10 months ago and it's not a very common injury, so we are experimenting how much we can push it. No-one has really come back from an injury like this before. To now, being back on court, it's pretty surreal."

While Dr. Sandow deserves the most credit for fixing Kyrgios' wrist, it is the Australian's physio Will Maher who has also a lot of work over the last several months to strengthen the eight-time ATP champion's wrist. 

"Without Will I probably would have retired last year. I can't work with anyone else," Kyrgios said. 

"My family and partner don't really understand all the work that's gone into this... whereas Will has seen how much it's taken to get to the point where I was one or two sets away from winning a grand slam."

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Just like last year, Kyrgios is again out of Wimbledon but he will be at The Championships as a commentator for the BBC. 

Ahead of his Wimbledon return, Kyrgios says he is open to having a hit with Novak Djokovic if the player who defeated him in the 2022 Wimbledon final invited him for a practice session.

"If he wants to have a hit at Wimbledon I wouldn't mind at all. That's where my level was when I left. It'd be good to get back into it," Kyrgios said.

"Just to be in that environment, not necessarily participating in the tournament, but getting around it again and feeling like normal, it would be great."

Kyrgios hasn't made any official announcements but the expectation is that he may be targeting to return at the US Open or sometimes after the US Open.

Nick Kyrgios