Roger Federer has announced that he will undergo a third surgery on his knee in the coming days, which will keep him away from the game for "many months". Federer broke the news in a video post on Instagram, where he explained the rationale behind his decision to have another surgery.
Needless to say, the Swiss maestro has, with this announcement, also ruled himself out of the 2021 US Open.
Roger Federer first picked up the injury on his right knee during the 2020 Australian Open, for which he underwent surgery. The 20-time Major champion then suffered a setback within a couple of months of rehabilitation, which required a second procedure.
After that it took Federer several months to find some semblance of fitness, and he made his comeback at the Qatar Open this year. Everything seemed to be going well for the Swiss over the next couple of months, but he hurt the knee again during his Wimbledon quarterfinal defeat to Hubert Hurkacz.
Now it is evident that the injury is much more serious than most people initially assumed. Federer stated in his video that he would need to be on crutches for "many weeks" after the surgery, effectively ruling him out for a lengthy period.
"Hey everybody, it's Roger here, I hope you're doing well," Roger Federer said in the video. "Listen, I just wanted to give you bit of an update (about) what's been going on since Wimbledon. As you can imagine it's not been simple, I've been doing a lot of checks with doctors on my knee, getting all the information as I hurt myself further during the grasscourt season in Wimbledon and this is not the way to go forward."
"So unfortunately they told me for the medium to long term, to feel better, I would need surgery," he added. "So I decided to do it. I'll be on crutches for many weeks and then also out of the game for many months."
Roger Federer admitted that the road ahead would be difficult, without offering much clarity about his future on tour. The Swiss did assert, however, that he is determined to be healthy once again and to return to the tour "in some shape or form".
"So it's gonna be difficult of course in some ways but at the same time I know it's the right thing to do because I wanna be healthy, I wanna be running around later as well again," Roger Federer said.
"I wanna give myself a glimmer of hope to return to the tour in some shape or form. I am realistic, don't get me wrong, I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery. I'll try it, I wanna be healthy and I'll go through the rehab process. I think also with the goal - while I'm still active - which are things that's gonna help me during this long period of time."
"Some of you suffer with me, some of you just wish me the best" - Roger Federer
At the end of the video message, Roger Federer expressed his heartfelt gratitude to his fans who have stood by him through thick and thin.
"So, big thank you now," Federer said. "Thank you for all the messages that are gonna be coming in because you guys are always incredible, because you guys always think of me. Some of you suffer with me, some of you just wish me the best, some of you wanna see me back on court, see me smile. I am doing okay, so I appreciate that. And I'll update you as I move along with my rehab."