It’s a very good (knee) new

Photo by Beth Wilson

Photo by Beth Wilson

When Rafa moved his presser from after his doubles to before it, there was some concern he was withdrawing from the doubles. Instead, he had some very positive things to say about the state of the knee.

Soon after the presser, an article appeared on Genny offered to translate it (see below) and while she was busy doing that, a few other articles appeared. There’s a lot of overlap, but a few differences as well.

Rafa looks forward to 2014 (

That has, however, been beneficial for his body, as he commented, “the good thing is that treatment is working really well, so I am feeling better and better every day. So that’s most important thing for me today”.

“I love to practise sport. I am professional tennis player, but I feel more happy when I am able to do different things”. He has played some golf. He will not however be playing any football. A few weeks ago in Argentina he says he kicked some penalties, but he will not be playing any matches, “I am not confident on that yet,” he added.

Nadal tries new treatment (

“I feel that this one really makes me feel more comfortable,” he said, when asked what the treatment was. “Because I don’t have pain like I had, no?

“It is true that (in 2013) I played a lot of days with anti-inflammatories. But I was able to compete very well once I started. That was my goal and so I was very happy about everything.”

“I haven’t played football for the last two years and a half,” he said. “I am not confident of that yet. I love to play football more than anything else but today I feel it will not be the right decision to take risks with that, especially since the better feeling in the knees is (only) from a few weeks ago.”

Un tratamiento con células madre devuelve el optimismo a Nadal as translated by Genny:

A stem cell treatment gives the optimism back to Nadal

(Doha, December 30 DPA.) – For the first time in more than two years, Rafael Nadal feels no pain in his knees. A stem cell treatment completed a few weeks ago allows him to face the season with renewed optimism, after he got to regain the number one in the previous season playing with antiinflammatories for a big part of it.

“It’s too early to know how definitive is the treatment, because I’ve only been working for three weeks. But it’s the first time in more than two years that I have no pain in the everyday life”, Nadal said in Doha.

The Spanish tennis player revealed his renewed confidence in his punished knees in the press conference prior to his participation in the tennis tournament in the capital of Qatar, which began today and where tomorrow he will make the debut against the Czech Lukas Rosol.

In previous years, Nadal had platelet rich plasma injected, which the player considered as “potentially crucial” to save his career.

The use of stem cells now facilitating the recovery of his cartilages is a novelty that his team decided to incorporate at the end of the last season, in November, and so far the result is excellent, although Nadal was unable to give precise details of the nature of the procedure.

“It’s very important for me to be active, practice other sports, for example. While at this time I could only play tennis and then rest”, pointed out Nadal, who nevertheless has delayed his return to soccer activities, his other great passion: “For now I’ll take it easy”.

He doesn’t have great expectations for Doha, either, his first event of the year, a tournament he has never won after five appearances and where he is top seed.

“It’s a good feeling to return to Qatar, where I am comfortable and have good friends. I want to compete from the start, but the truth is that I’ve only been training for two and a half weeks, the first one with no movement, and I do not know how far I can get with the preparation that I have,” said the world number one.

The goal, of course, is to be ready for the Australia Open, which starts in two weeks. Then, his calendar will take him to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro – “the South American swing on clay was a great experience last year and I want to repeat” – and then travel to Indian Wells and Miami, although he subordinated his plans to the evolution of his fitness.

Although his holidays have included a tour in Argentina, a match in Prague and collecting awards in Paris and Madrid, Nadal said he had plenty of time to rest in Mallorca.

According to him, “the bad part of the current calendar is not the length, but the number of events that are mandatory”. “It also seems logical to do certain events for the sponsors when there is time available, or visit places you do not go during the season and where there are friends you would like to visit”.

The Spanish player also positively commented on the growing presence of former champions – Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker… – as coaches of his rivals, but ruled out any change in his own team.

“I’m the kind of person who thinks that, about 95 percent of the times, if something goes wrong it is my fault. Besides, I have not fired anyone since I started my career, I’ve only changed the physio because the one I had wanted to spend more time with his family. I am 27 and a half years old and I do not think I’m going to make any changes…”, he said.

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12 Responses

  1. koran says:

    Love to hear such a very good news from Rafa. Vamos Champ ! Thanks Miri for the update.

  2. sia says:

    So happy for Rafa :) I do hope he can compete pain free for the season. Vamos!
    Thanks Genny for the translation and miri for the “new” ;)

  3. Jody says:

    Thank you, Genny, for the translation. This is a very good new for Rafa. What a relief for him to not be in constant pain.

  4. Elfie says:

    Yooo hoo! a Pain-free Rafa! How wonderful for him, so glad he can compete with more pain free days, sounds like a real good new.
    Can’t wait for the Aussie Open…though I realise he has not had much practice, it will just be great to see him in action again!
    Thanks for all the news Miri!

  5. Allyn Sims says:

    Good news, but everyone should have realistic expectations. There’s a reason the saying “there’s no magic bullet” is a cliche. Especially when we are talking about a chronic condition that is continuously stressed.

    • Ramara says:

      Indeed. What Rafa said is that he’s not having “everyday” pain now. He can’t yet know how his knees will respond to the stress of competition. Still, it’s certainly a big improvement.

    • miri says:

      Exactly. I expect he’ll have pain when he plays and it will probably slowly creep back into his day to day life the more he plays. What this gives me hope for is: manageable pain while playing; a decently comfortable life after tennis.

  6. Keith says:

    Doctors must love Rafa, a perfect subject to try out new technology.

    • Lyn says:

      Is this technology new? How new? Thanks.

      • heath says:

        Research into stem cells has been ongoing since the early 1900′s after it was found that some body cells are capable of generating new blood cells. Bone marrow transplant is actually a transplant of donor adult stem cells and has been used in leukaemias since the 1950′s. The prime focus of research and procedural development has, understandably, been on blood cancers, heart disease, liver disease, corneal blindness, spinal cord repair, glaucoma and neurological conditions.

        Autologous Stem cell therapy (i.e. from the individual’s own marrow, fat or blood) for other conditions is more recent. University College and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London (I worked at that hospital in the 90′s) UCL is one of the few centres in the world developing expertise into the regeneration of tendons (primarily achilles) using stem cells, as well as translating successful treatments used in horses into humans. Stems cells are taken from the patient’s own hip, expanded in the laboratory, and then implanted into the damaged tendon – usually with PRP at the same time.

        Obviously, Rafa’s doctors have been able to utilise such expertise in another centre and I’m really pleased – but like others have said, it is early days.

  7. Rafasbabe says:

    Glad A good state of the knees is a good state of mind for Rafa and a good state of mind is unimaginable playing pleasures on the tennis court. Can’t wait to see how this progressed recovery translates into more titles. I want nothing more that for Rafa to smash every existing record and still have plenty of health before he retires. Love you Rafaaaaa!!!

  1. December 31, 2013

    […] remain healthy and happy! Here’s the article which talks about Rafa’s new treatment: Some More Information on Stem […]

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