I hope she's getting good medical advice now, because allowing her to practice through the injury as it got worse in the off-season, play in Australia, and resume practice in February was a disaster.
Also I hope she wasn't guilty of hearing what she wants to hear when she's talking to doctors. She needs to consider things very carefully going forward, this is season threatening and maybe even worse if they don't get the right diagnosis and treatment.
It's difficult to apportion blame in these cases. Laura was certainly guilty of recklessness last summer when she took a mere three weeks off after tearing the sheath around her right wrist tendon in that 'freak' accident at Toronto, and gambled on a cortisone shot to play the US Open. It worked in the short term but it didn't give her wrist a chance to heal fully and she began to really struggle during the Asian swing. Miles Maclagan has remained mostly tight-lipped about his time coaching Laura but he did volunteer to the Press in Australia that Laura was so plagued by bronchitis and her aching wrist in Beijing that she could barely manage 10 minutes of practice. She had to drag herself out of her sickbed to play Kookie and Kerber.
She also behaved pretty irresponsibly at the start of this season when a doctor in Auckland discovered tendonitis and ligament damage in her left wrist. I'm not privy to what advice was given, but the severity of the pain she experienced in the match against Wickmayer in Hobart should surely have meant the end of her Australian campaign. Instead, she gave bizarre interviews in Melbourne before her match with Flipkens claiming that her wrist problem had almost "cleared up" and she'd been able to practice at full power for the first time since the off season. I don't know whether Laura was trying to deceive herself or the Press or both. The true situation was revealed on the match court and by an admittance to Simon Briggs of The Telegraph
by a member of her team.
The whisper from one of Laura Robson’s management team was that she should not even have played. She was here, and she was not in any imminent danger, but she was in no condition to go up against a top-20 player. Not when it is three months since she last completed a match.
Was he right? ... Robson had been restricted to a few half-intensity hits on the training court this week by tendinitis in her left wrist.
In Laura's defence, at least a couple of the doctors she has consulted have been both incompetent and negligent. I don't know how on earth the doctor in Florida she saw in the off season, when she first felt pangs of pain in her left wrist, failed to take her condition seriously and missed the signs of developing tendonitis even though her previous problems with the right wrist should have raised alarm bells. No one thought to adjust her training block or advise her to stop hitting. By the time she landed in New Zealand her wrist was as stiff as a board.
The manner of her loss to Flipkens at the AO must have been a chastening experience for Laura and, as far we can tell, she has done her best to be a model patient since returning to England in mid-January. Unfortunately her London doctor blundered badly by underestimating the time it would take for full-blown tendonitis to heal and gave Laura false hopes of an early return to the tour. It was clearly a mistake to recommend her to resume hitting after 4 weeks
, when the expert opinion of Chanda Rubin - cited by Tampering - is that a player with a wrist tendon injury shouldn't even think of touching a racket for at least 12 weeks
. The idea of practicing with sponge balls and table tennis balls - presumably to keep Laura's wrist 'mobile' - is scarily reminiscent of the daft advice Julia Görges was given last season.
I am stunned that they still do not know what's going on with her wrist.
I think 'they' probably have reached a diagnosis now (after four months of wasted rehab) and Katja's speculation about the purpose of Laura's mystery trip to Düsseldorf is surely correct: Regenokine treatment. Laura has a back-up plan, as well, if that treatment fails: surgery. Needless to say, surgery will mean the complete loss of her 2014 season.
Hope springs eternal
: Kim Clijsters injured her wrist before Miami in 2004, missed the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open after surgery to remove a cyst and then re-injured her wrist on her return. Her hysterical doctor warned the world's press that her career was probably finished: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/3712082.stm
By the following March Kim's world ranking had slumped to no. 133. She came back, won Indian Wells, won her first Grand slam title at the US Open and finished the year as the world no. 2!