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Rafa sticking up for Andy.

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Alis
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #45 on: July 12, 2012, 08:19 PM »
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Aileen, if what Andy was quoted as saying about the injections in his back is true it sounds like the back problem is being managed, not that it has gone away. He was quoted as saying that he was told that the injections would get him through Wimbledon and then the Olympics.

His movement was good at Wimbledon, and sure, he served very well at times, though not at others, but I don't know. Something inside tells me that Andy isn't quite fully fit. I can't explain it, but something just seems ever so slightly off. That flies in the face of how he did at Wimbledon, of course, but that is my feeling. I hope I am wrong. I'm actually wondering if Andy's erratic first serve is anything to do with his back. I just think it has seemed more erratic this year, since the back problem began really, but I don't know.

I think Andy quite deliberately didn't mention his back or touch it much during the fortnight. To do so would have been ammunition to his detractors who made a lot of wild accusations before and after the French. He didn't need that at Wimbledon as well.

I don't know how much we can assume about the state of Andy's back. He has, quite rightly I think, not gone into any details about what the problem is. All I can say is that I held my breath for him several times during the final when he took some very heavy falls. I hope he is okay.

I agree Teejay about the erratic nature of Andy's serve.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it is the result of his back problem.  I also think that the deterioration of his first serve percentage in the third and fourth sets on Sunday may well have been linked to the bad fall that he took.  He fell on his hip which could well have jarred his back, making it diffiult to push up.  Who could blame him for not saying anything about it after all the flack he took in Paris.
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Aileen
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #46 on: July 13, 2012, 12:14 AM »
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I believe he had about seven massive painkilling injections at the start of the tourney.
He had eight injections before the FO - http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/sport/other-sports/jibes-about-his-back-injury-have-prompted-andy-murray-to-reveal-he-had-eight-pain-killing-injections-ahead-of-the-french-open-1-2373089

I agree Teejay about the erratic nature of Andy's serve.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it is the result of his back problem.  I also think that the deterioration of his first serve percentage in the third and fourth sets on Sunday may well have been linked to the bad fall that he took.  He fell on his hip which could well have jarred his back, making it diffiult to push up.  Who could blame him for not saying anything about it after all the flack he took in Paris.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have never once disbelieved that Andy has a genuine and long-standing back problem.  If it involves a lumbar disc, which could be likely since it's a common complaint amongst tennis players due to the twisting motion of the body involved in serving and playing certain shots.  Golfers too are prone to it.

Andy did mention that he'd had an 8" needle inserted into his spine, so I did a bit of research, and found that this is a common procedure for chronic back pain, the needle being inserted into the spinal canal so that the drugs used will be absorbed into the cerebro-spinal fluid.  Also this from http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/s/spinal-injections

Injections into or near your spine help deliver pain-reducing medicines directly to the source of pain and can ease back pain or sciatica (shooting pain down one or both of your legs).  The effects of a successful spinal injection can last up to three months.

There are two medicines used in spinal injections. Local anaesthetic is used to completely block pain from the injected area. Steroids are used to reduce swelling and irritation (inflammation) in the injected area ...

... The local anaesthetic will keep you pain-free for a while, but it's best to take things easy for the first 24 hours. After this, your back may start to feel sore again because the steroids take a few days to work. Your back pain or sciatica should start to improve within a few days of your injection.

You should be able to start physiotherapy within a week of your injection. It's important to remember spinal injections aren’t a cure for back pain and it's the physical therapy that will help improve your medical condition in the long-term.


And this video demonstrates how spinal injections treat back pain - http://video.about.com/backandneck/Spinal-Injections.htm


I'm thinking that all this info should be sent to Andy's detractors, and in particular Wade, Haas and McEnroe.

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Crisstti
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #47 on: July 13, 2012, 04:19 AM »
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Interesting.

It's a pity McEnroe has gotten into it as well... anyone knows exactly what he said?.  Did he actually accuse him of faking?.
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Aileen
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #48 on: July 13, 2012, 04:32 AM »
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Well McEnroe is reported in the Scotland on Sunday article as saying that the back problem was "between the ears", i.e. that it's a psychological rather than a physical thing, which is effectively saying that Andy was either faking it or greatly exaggerating it.  Shame - I used to like McEnroe ...
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Crisstti
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #49 on: July 13, 2012, 04:45 AM »
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Well, that does sound more like he was saying it was some kind of nervous thing...
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Aileen
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #50 on: July 13, 2012, 05:25 AM »
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Do you seriously think doctors would give someone eight of these injections if the problem was psychosomatic?

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Crisstti
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #51 on: July 13, 2012, 05:27 AM »
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Oh, I'm not saying his problem is psychosomatic (I think he might have a bit of a tic though).  Just that if that's what McEnroe meant it's nowhere near as offensive as saying he was faking.
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blueberryhill
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #52 on: July 13, 2012, 06:52 AM »
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I'm sure Andy has a back problem, which is serious in such a young man. But without doubt he does get "tight" and when he does, his first serve stats go right down. It's a good barometer of whether he going to lose a match.
When his serves goes below 50% against the top players, more often than not he'll lose.
That being said, he was much improved this Wimbledon, except, crucially, third set against Fed.
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Aileen
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #53 on: July 13, 2012, 03:53 PM »
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Oh, I'm not saying his problem is psychosomatic (I think he might have a bit of a tic though).  Just that if that's what McEnroe meant it's nowhere near as offensive as saying he was faking.
You have a point ...  Still it's something Andy could have done without, and Mac & Co should be ashamed of themselves.

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Ruthie
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #54 on: July 13, 2012, 04:54 PM »
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It's worrying about the back but at least he has a good physio to work with him and it sounds like the physio is crucial from the quote above.
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teejay1
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #55 on: July 13, 2012, 06:59 PM »
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What McEnroe was saying was that in his playing days he sometimes thought he had problems with his back when he was going in to matches. Then, when he was playing the problem went away, and he realised the problem was in his head. McEnroe suggested this was Andy's problem, i.e. that the problem was in his mind, not his back. Andy was then told about this (why do they do that!) at the Boodles event and he responded by talking about the 8in needle he had in his back.

I don't mind saying that I was furious with McEnroe. What he had done was to leap to a conclusion without all the information, which to my mind was grossly unfair, especially on top of what Virginia Wade said, and I think Tommy Haas had opened his big mouth by then too. It felt to me like Andy was being ganged up on, if that doesn't sound childish. I was upset and angry about it, so Lord only knows how he felt. Sure, sport is supposed to be ugly I suppose, and people do say things, but still.

It would appear that Haas sought Andy out at Wimbledon and apologised for being quoted out of context in an article. I suppose we have to give the benefit of the doubt because that sort of thing has happened to Andy, but still, why was Haas saying anything about Andy to be misquoted? If I recall he was narked because Philip Kohlshreiber had pulled out of a match against him, but Andy shouldn't have been dragged in to the issue.

As for the rest, it seemed funny to me in a way that once Andy mentioned the injections all the accusations stopped. I suppose it is understandable, but why should Andy be placed in a situation where he has to justify himself, or go in to details that any other person would be able to keep private? I just thought, and still do, that the nature of Andy's injury is between him and the people around him who are trying to deal with it. How they are dealing with it should also be private to my mind. It is just no one else's business.

What angers me is that no one questions Federer's back pain. No one doubts Nadal's knee issues. No one questioned Djokovic when he was a perpetual whiner, but it seems fair game to point the finger at Andy. It really makes me wonder sometimes.

For the record, I don't think for a moment that Andy would fake an injury. I also think far too much is made out of him touching his knee or his back during matches. Nadal fiddles with his shorts and no one points that out. Frankly I think it is sometimes just something Andy does, like Nadal with the shorts. The question is whether it distracts him from his purpose, which only he would know. People would suggest it is only something he does when he is losing, but I'm not so sure. There is also the thing about what it could give away to an opponent, but isn't it an opponent's job to get on with it regardless of what is going on over the other side of the net? At the FO Neimenen bottled a winning position, simple as that. Virginia Wade was miffed because Neimenen lost, suggesting it was because of what was going on with Andy, but the fact is that he was on the brink of being two sets to love up on the four in the world and he just couldn't handle it.

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teejay1
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #56 on: July 13, 2012, 07:24 PM »
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I agree Teejay about the erratic nature of Andy's serve.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it is the result of his back problem.  I also think that the deterioration of his first serve percentage in the third and fourth sets on Sunday may well have been linked to the bad fall that he took.  He fell on his hip which could well have jarred his back, making it diffiult to push up.  Who could blame him for not saying anything about it after all the flack he took in Paris.

Alis, I wondered about the fall when he landed on his hip too. I actually remember thinking at the time, judging by his expression, that he could have jarred his back. I am awaiting the DVD of the match (assuming I can bear to watch it again!) and I will certainly be looking at the fall to see if it definitely does seem to be linked with his first serve percentage dropping. I wouldn't be at all surprised. Don't get me wrong, I'm not seeking to find a reason for the loss really, but it did make me think.

It seems obvious to me that if Andy did hurt himself (I just wouldn't be surprised, he took so many falls, the one scared the life out of me, how he didn't break his neck I will never know) he wouldn't want to say anything and drag the issue up again. Apart from anything else he would have been accused of being disrespectful to Federer. It would also explain (as if he needed to) why he was so very upset when he lost. I hate to think he could possibly have lost due to any injury, so I have to say I hope it isn't the case. I'm still gutted for him that he lost, that's enough.

 Sure, getting tight doesn't help the first serve either, but I don't know. I just don't remember Andy's first serve being quite as erratic as it has been this year. It either seems to be brilliant, i.e. like in the latter two sets against Cilic when he served like a machine, or he has a tough time getting it to go in. It's such a shame, because it seems so obvious to me that when it does go in the rest of his game flows so beautifully.

The other thing to say as well is that I wonder if Andy has tweaked his serve at all this year, and maybe it is still a work in progress, but I'm not technically minded enough about the game to know.
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #57 on: July 14, 2012, 12:19 AM »
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What McEnroe was saying was that in his playing days he sometimes thought he had problems with his back when he was going in to matches. Then, when he was playing the problem went away, and he realised the problem was in his head. McEnroe suggested this was Andy's problem, i.e. that the problem was in his mind, not his back. Andy was then told about this (why do they do that!) at the Boodles event and he responded by talking about the 8in needle he had in his back.

Glad to hear that's what he said, actually.

As for Haas, I've got to say I find it hard to believe he was misquoted.  Plus, didn't his wife also posted some comment on Twitter?.

Quote
What angers me is that no one questions Federer's back pain. No one doubts Nadal's knee issues. No one questioned Djokovic when he was a perpetual whiner, but it seems fair game to point the finger at Andy. It really makes me wonder sometimes.

I don't see people questioning Federer's injuries, but I do see people on the tennis message board I usually post in continually questioning Nadal's injuries... then, maybe that place has just too many haters.
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Aileen
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #58 on: July 14, 2012, 03:37 AM »
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It's worrying about the back but at least he has a good physio to work with him and it sounds like the physio is crucial from the quote above.
I think the other important thing is that at least the problem seems to have been identified.  Andy did mention after the AO something about a trapped nerve, yet according to Scotland on Sunday it's a disc problem (although how did they know??).  But why oh why did Andy wait so long before having these injections?  I can understand it up to a point, but the fact is that continuing to play through pain until it became intolerable cost him matches, although it probably did him a big favour when he was forced to pull out of Madrid and its slippery blue clay.

Alis, I wondered about the fall when he landed on his hip too. I actually remember thinking at the time, judging by his expression, that he could have jarred his back. I am awaiting the DVD of the match (assuming I can bear to watch it again!) and I will certainly be looking at the fall to see if it definitely does seem to be linked with his first serve percentage dropping. I wouldn't be at all surprised. Don't get me wrong, I'm not seeking to find a reason for the loss really, but it did make me think.

It seems obvious to me that if Andy did hurt himself (I just wouldn't be surprised, he took so many falls, the one scared the life out of me, how he didn't break his neck I will never know) he wouldn't want to say anything and drag the issue up again. Apart from anything else he would have been accused of being disrespectful to Federer. It would also explain (as if he needed to) why he was so very upset when he lost. I hate to think he could possibly have lost due to any injury, so I have to say I hope it isn't the case. I'm still gutted for him that he lost, that's enough.

 Sure, getting tight doesn't help the first serve either, but I don't know. I just don't remember Andy's first serve being quite as erratic as it has been this year. It either seems to be brilliant, i.e. like in the latter two sets against Cilic when he served like a machine, or he has a tough time getting it to go in. It's such a shame, because it seems so obvious to me that when it does go in the rest of his game flows so beautifully.

The other thing to say as well is that I wonder if Andy has tweaked his serve at all this year, and maybe it is still a work in progress, but I'm not technically minded enough about the game to know.
Oh please!  I swear my heart stopped beating when Andy had that fall.  Yet after the tournament, when he was asked by the interviewer how he felt, he just said he had "a few bruises", although like you I can understand his reluctance to mention anything else.   Also he tweeted the other day that he'd been go-karting competitively (and had won), so hopefully this means that if he did jar his back it was only a temporary thing, although if it did cost him the trophy then that's something I don't care to think about.

If you do manage to watch that bit of the match, it'll be interesting to know what conclusion you reach.

And I do agree about Federer's back, although admittedly he did keep quiet about it for quite a while, but the exact nature of the problem has never been divulged, nor has he been asked to do so by what Scotland on Sunday refers sarcastically to as "the good, the great and those who are merely paid to pontificate". 

I think Haas was just having a dig at Andy for his own benefit - i.e. "look at me, I've played through the pain of injuries", like that's something to be proud of.  Pete Sampras boasted on at least one occasion of how good he was at playing through the pain barrier - but at what expense to his body?  At least Andy has the sense to take care of his, and that's something he should never be made to feel ashamed of.
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Ruthie
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Re: Rafa sticking up for Andy. « Reply #59 on: July 14, 2012, 07:20 PM »
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When I told a friend that Andy has been go-karting he said he was surprised he was allowed to!  Could you imagine it if he injured himself?
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