Tennis Pro Rafael Nadal to Receive Stem Cell Treatment for Back Pain

Rafael Nadal is the No. 3 ranked tennis player in the world. This coming week, he’ll be undergoing stem cell treatment for back pain.

Nadal to Receive Stem Cell Treatment for Back Pain

The 28 year old tennis sensation injured his back during the Australian Open in January. Although plagued by persistent pain since the injury, his coach (and uncle) Toni Nadal, explained that he didn’t have the treatment sooner due to the amount of healing time required for the procedure.

“He’s had them for the past six months,” said Toni Nadal. “It’s stem cell treatment, and doing it properly requires five weeks,” he added when explaining why they did not take advantage of the three months between July and October. “Because we all thought that he’d play at the US Open, we were more focused on his wrist injury, which looked to be healing well.”

“I’m not saying it was completely down to his back, but it’s true that he wasn’t fit to compete to the best of his ability,” he added.

Despite his injuries this year, the 14-time Grand Slam winner won four tournaments this season: the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the Rio Open 500, the Matua Madrid Open, and the French Open.

Nadal’s doctor of 14 years, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, told The Associated Press by phone that, “we are going to put cells in a joint in his spine” as part of a stem cell treatment the tennis pro will receive this week in Barcelona.

Not Nadal’s First Time with Stem Cell Treatment for Pain

Ruiz-Cotorro said Nadal’s back pain is “typical of tennis” players and that the treatment is meant to help repair his cartilage and is similar to stem cell treatment Nadal received on his knee last year. The goal of this procedure is “regenerating cartilage, in the midterm, and producing an anti-inflammatory effect.”

Rafael Nadal is expected to return to training in early December.

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Photo credit: Brett Marlow