Karolina Muchova opens up on struggling to do most basic stuff after wrist surgery

Muchova was hampered with a wrist injury for months before having surgery in February.

by Dzevad Mesic
Karolina Muchova opens up on struggling to do most basic stuff after wrist surgery
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Karolina Muchova has returned to being fully healthy and she is ready to play again but just a couple of months ago the Czech tennis star was struggling to function properly after a wrist surgery left her struggling to do basic things such as brushing her teeth or dressing. 

After experiencing wrist pain and discomfort for months that just wasn't going away, Muchova was left with no choice but to under the knife in February. 

Following the surgery, Muchova's right arm was in a cast for several weeks, and not only that she wasn't able to train, but she was also having a hard time doing basic stuff. Reflecting on that now, the 27-year-old Czech admits there were moments when she would laugh about her situation but there were also "not funny" moments. 

“I had six weeks like full wrap up to the shoulder so I couldn’t move it any way and then I had three to four more weeks up to just the elbow,” Muchova told Express-Sport

“So it was like 10 weeks in all, I couldn’t touch [a racket]. I couldn’t brush my teeth or put a shirt on. It was a funny, not funny, time. At the time I couldn’t so I for sure had two, two-and-a-half months without the racket."

Karolina Muchova
Karolina Muchova© Karolina Muchova - Instagram

Muchova: There was a little shame, but...

After evidently struggling with wrist pain during a 2023 US Open semifinal loss to Coco Gauff, Muchova took a break to try to heal from her wrist injury. But after her right arm was strapped for six weeks and she tried to make a comeback in February, it took just one tricky wrist movement for the 2023 French Open runner-up to realize that her issue was still there. That's when the final decision was made. 

“That kind of took some time [away] from me unfortunately but nobody knew, nobody could tell do the surgery right away. So there was a little shame I lost a few months but once we traveled to Dubai to try for the tournament, I hit one late forehand and in that moment I’m like, Okay, that was really painful. And [it was] awful moment when I’m like, Okay, now I need a surgery for sure. So then I went back to Czech and did the surgery,” Muchova said.

Karolina Muchova
Karolina Muchova© Getty Images Sport - Elsa

While Muchova is no stranger to injuries, she started becoming more and more concerned after her wrist wasn't recovering as expected or as it needed. Then the surgery happened and that's when the Czech started having certain doubts and fears, knowing that wrist injuries have changed or ended so many careers.

“This one honestly was scary for me because I’ve never had any surgery before and the wrist I feel is like very fragile thing for a tennis player and it’s so tiny and the impact on the ball is very intimate," Muchova admitted.

Muchova on returning in Eastbourne this week

During the period when Muchova was struggling to brush her teeth, she thought that it would be nice if she was able to return to action during the North American hard court. But surprisingly, Muchova's wrist recovery went faster than anticipated, and when she started hitting the balls again, there weren't any major issues so Muchova decided that there was no need to wait for the summer on hard courts. 

At this week's WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne, Muchova is starting her comeback, and if everything goes right, she will also be at Wimbledon next week.

“Honestly, after the surgery, the goal was to come back August for the hard-court season because that’s what usually it takes to heal the tendon that I had a problem with," Muchova revealed.

“But the rehab was going so well and I started to practice like seven weeks back I would say. So far, knock on wood, I didn’t have any setback and I could still keep on going and we were adding more and more hours. We had a plan on how to follow up from my surgery and the doctors and physios and everything went well so far.”

Karolina Muchova
Karolina Muchova © Getty Images Sport - Quinn Rooney

Before the injury, Muchova nearly upset Iga Swiatek in the 2023 French Open final and she also reached the top-10 for the first time in her career. 

Early in her comeback, it would be unrealistic to expect Muchova to instantly start doing big things but if she is able to play regularly and gradually build her form, she could be back to where she was in a couple of months.

Karolina Muchova