Novak Djokovic is going to miss the rest of 2017 season due to elbow injury which he has been fighting for a year and a half. He has consulted many experts all around the world and concluded that he needs to rest.
At an elite level of any sports, injuries are inevitable. Djokovic has not missed any major events for more than 10 years and stayed at the highest level as a tennis player, which is incredible. Top athletes like Djokovic usually works with multiple experts from different fields, but will still experience debilitating injuries throughout their careers. Human bodies are not meant to be pushed to their limits year in and year out without proper rests. Top level athletes usually start their sports at a very early age, sometimes even as young as when they are 4 or 5 years old. Therefore, athletes are in their competitive sports for up to 20- 30 years. It is not uncommon to see teenage athletes burnout due to over-training and injuries. Intense training and competitions should be coupled with adequate rest, pre-hab and rehab exercises.
One of the most common injuries for tennis players is the lateral epicondylitis, also known as the “tennis elbow.” Repeated stress on the tendon during the backhand motion causes microtear and inflammation, which becomes very painful. Strengthening of the forearm muscles are extremely effective during the pre-hab and rehab stages of lateral epicondylitis. Also, any activities that aggravates the symptoms should be removed for the injury to completely heal.
However, Djokovic’s injury does not seem to be lateral epicondylitis. His pain is experienced during forehand and service. It has been released that he has bone bruise in the elbow. Bone bruise is a stage just before a fracture. It is caused by damaged trabeculae. Rest is the most important part of rehabilitation for bruised bones. Depending on the severity, it can take few months to several months for complete recovery.
Djokovic is very lucky to have never had any injuries that put his career on hold until this point. Him and his team believes that he will come back stronger and better. I 100% agree with them. It will be a good 5 months for Djokovic to rest, not only his elbow, but other parts of the body and his mind.