Rafael Nadal has been struggling with a rare foot condition called Muller-Weiss Syndrome since 2005 – his uncle Toni once made him practice shots while sitting on a chair
Rafael Nadal has been struggling with injuries from the initial days of his professional career. It was back in 2005 that Nadal had first encountered a problem related to a rare disease – which was diagnosed to be ‘Muller-Weiss’ Syndrome.
Despite all the struggles, Nadal never settled for less and always received encouragement and support from his family especially coach and uncle Toni Nadal – who has played a pivotal role in his unparalleled success and longevity.
An old picture from 2005 has surfaced on the Internet where a young Rafael Nadal can be seen sitting on a chair and practising his forehand and backhand shots. There is a very interesting background to the story – Nadal was dealing with a foot injury which could have put an end to his career.
However, his uncle Toni Nadal, who has always been a constant support, made young Rafael sit on a chair and practice the shots. Although it wasn’t known back then – Nadal was suffering from the early stage of Muller-Weiss Syndrome which has troubled him throughout his career.
Muller-Weiss syndrome 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 continues to struggle with Muller-Weiss syndrome and other injuries
Injuries have always been a part and parcel of Nadal’s career. Despite the struggles, the Spaniard has done the impossible, winning 22 Grand Slams including 13 Roland Garros, and rewriting entire pages of tennis history.
However, Rafa has never been able to fully recover from particular injuries and has had to deal with a lot of problems 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.
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. One year from then, another injury has forced him to withdraw from a number of tournaments including the top-tier ones like the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open. It remains to be seen if Nadal can make a strong comeback later this year as the struggles with his foot get worse with time.
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