In round three of the Australian Open last week, Polish tennis champion Jerzy Janowicz lost to Florian Mayer of Germany. Now he blames his injury on playing on an injured ankle.
Before he left for the Open, Janowicz’s doctors had advised him against competing because he had a broken bone in his foot. Going against his doctor’s wishes, he travelled to Melbourne anyways, deciding to play and advancing to the third round of play.
After his loss, however, Janowicz was in tears and told reporters that he perhaps shouldn’t have played; ““Before I [left] Poland, [it] was still a little bit broken; was not 100 percent healthy. There was still quite a bit (of) inflammation. So all the time (I’ve been) taking inflammation pills, (to) see how it’s going to be.”
While he did not directly blame his loss on his injury, Janowicz was clearly affected by the pain and did not perform as well as he had hoped.
As a Houston podiatrist, I know how tough it is for athletes to stay on the sidelines when injured; watching competitors participate in their sport as they stay home and rest seems like the worst thing they can be doing for their career.
While properly re-habbing an injury may feel like a mistake, I promise you that waiting until you are completely healed to return to your sport is the smartest thing you can possibly do. If you play on a broken foot, you probably won’t perform well and, worse, will lengthen your recovery time and even possibly make your injury worse.
As hard as it feels to stay away from the sport you love, one match is never worth risking a permanent injury. If you have a broken foot or ankle, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so you can get back in the game as soon as it’s safe for you to do so.