How did Rafael Nadal look before he toned down muscles to protect his knees?

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Rafael Nadal suffers from a rare foot condition called Mueller-Weiss syndrome – he had to tone down his muscles to protect his knees

Do you remember the young, muscular Rafael Nadal who burst onto the scene, playing like he was destined to be a Champion? During the first three years of his career, Nadal had a physique anyone would envy but unfortunately his ‘Hercules’ look didn’t last long. Nadal has been struggling with a recurring foot problem for years and he had to tone down his muscles to protect his knees, as advised by his team of doctors.

Nadal encountered problems with his foot way back in 2005 just when he was making his mark on the international scene.

It was later revealed that he suffers from a rare foot condition called ‘Muller-Weiss Syndrome’. It is a degenerative disease and represents a dysplasia of the scaphoid, a deformation of one of the bones located in the central part of the foot. Due to its symptoms, it is a difficult disease to diagnose so much so that it is now part of the ‘World Day of Rare Diseases’.

Rafael Nadal still continues to struggle with the Muller-Weiss syndrome

During his career, Rafael Nadal has done the impossible, winning 22 Grand Slams including 13 Roland Garros, and rewriting entire pages of tennis history. However, Rafa has had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout his glorious career. Seventeen years since it was first diagnosed, the Mueller-Weiss syndrome is still very much a part of Nadal’s career, and he is struggling with it even more during this twilight phase of his career.

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How did Rafael Nadal look before he toned down muscles to protect his knees? 2

Nadal had a stellar season in 2022 but he did struggle with his foot during the initial part of the year. The Spaniard had revealed that his injured foot troubled him during his 7-6, 7-6 win against Reilly Opelka at the Indian Wells Masters last year. It remains to be seen if Nadal can replicate his 2022 form this year as the struggles with his foot get worse with time.

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