Dominic Thiem admits he may copy Rafael Nadal treatment to heal wrist injury

Dominic Thiem defeats Alexander Zverev in US Open final

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Dominic Thiem has admitted that he won’t rule out surgery as he recovers from a wrist injury. The world No 6 announced last week that he would not be attempting to defend his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open and was instead shutting his season down. Thiem has previously likened the injury to one Rafael Nadal suffered with in 2016, and has now accepted that he may need surgery before making a comeback in 2022.

Thiem has not played since June, when he injured his wrist during the Mallorca Championships and was forced to pull out of Wimbledon and the Olympics as a result.

Last year’s US Open champion was hoping to be ready in time to travel to New York and attempt to defend his maiden Grand Slam title, but instead announced he would be ending his season early as he continued to recover.

The world No 6 was 5-2 up on Adrian Mannarino on the grass courts of Mallorca when he was forced to retire with an injury, and has been sidelined ever since.

He later revealed that he had “detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist” and was forced to wear a splint for five weeks, much like Nadal in 2016.

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Nadal was forced to pull out of Roland Garros that year ahead of his third round match with a similar injury, also missing Wimbledon before making a trumphant return at the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he won a gold medal in mixed doubles alongside Marc Lopez.

However, the wrist continued to bother the Spaniard, who then ended his season early to recover after losing to Lucas Pouille in the US Open round of 16.

Thiem likened his injury to that of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, and sounded confident about making a return to the tour in 2022.

“Nadal had the same thing in 2016, Nishikori had the same, and so did Bencic. The doctors have said that if it heals properly, it is not a problem.” Thiem said, according to TennisHead.

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The Austrian is also open to getting surgery, saying it will only extend his recovery time but will not hinder his chances of a comeback.

He continued: “If things don’t go as planned, the chance [to get surgery] is already there, but it wouldn’t be a mishap either.

“It would simply increase the time until I can be back on the pitch. If it really comes to the surgery, it will take a month or two longer. But it would be an operation that many players have already done and it is not a bad thing in terms of the future.”

The 17-time title winner also admitted that his rush to be ready in time for the US Open may have set him back, but he feels he has gained clarity after making the decision to end his season early.

“Now I’m actually better than before because there is now complete clarity. I now have a precise timetable for what the next weeks and months will look like,” he said.

“The US Open and the rest of the season was in the back of my mind and I really wanted to do it.

“It just came too early, I paid a little the price for not having any experience with injuries like this. I wanted a little too early too much.”

Thiem announced his decision to withdraw from the US Open and take the rest of the year to recover last Thursday.

The 27-year-old posted a statement to his social media accounts, saying “Dominic Thiem, the US Open defending Champion, has confirmed today that he has withdrawn from this year’s tournament and will miss the rest of the 2021 season.”

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