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Elf, Interrupted

Posted by gauloises1 on May 4, 2010

Let’s just get this over with, shall we? As of right this now, Delpo has had surgery on his troublesome right wrist. The surgery was performed by Dr Richard Berger of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, it took about 40 minutes, and the recovery time is anywhere between four and six months. That is, if you’re counting, most of 2011.

According to Fue Buena, Delpo broke the news via a letter to an Argentinean radio show he was due to appear on:

Dear friends,

I decided to write because I want them to know by my own words of what is happening to me. Today, Tuesday, May 4, I will be operated ulnar extensor tendon in my right wrist carpal. What will Dr. Berger, a specialist in the field, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Throughout this year, I wanted to avoid surgery with different treatments, but obviously the injury was more serious. Just came to the United States, the doctor did tests on the court and various studies to locate the points of pain. And there he made the decision to the operation.

As you all understand, is not a happy moment in my life. But I’m used to fighting adversity and I have all the forces to move this forward. So, I wanted to break the news myself. Unfortunately, circulated false and malicious versions on my mood and my physical condition. I’m not clear on what does not exist. But the bad information not only affects my family, my team and the people who care about me. Also affects you who end up reading news that are not true.

The recovery time is long but it depends on many factors that today can not be measured because it is so recent. I will spend the first postoperative days here and then return to the country, with more details, I will inform them every step of my recovery. I understand your anxiety, but I hope they understand my point.

Finally, I want to thank all the fans who showed me unconditional support. Those who crossed the streets of my country and those who encouraged me anywhere in the world via the Internet. Now I need more than ever. They are phenomena and strength that will give me great motivation to return everything. So enjoy and be together.

Thank you very much everybody,
Juan Martin Del Potro


The ‘false and malicious versions’ he refers to are the unsubstantiated rumours, denied by his manager Ugo Colombini, that his absence from the circuit was due to more psychological than physical factors and a case of ‘stage fright’ … Yeah. Because if we know nothing else about Delpo, it’s that he’s terrified of the big stage.

Anyway, even assuming that the surgery constitutes an effective, long-term solution to the wrist problem, we’re not going to be seeing Delpo for a long, long time. But to quote Starbuck, “So life’s a bitch. What are you gonna do? Cry about it?”

Meh … probably. But as appropriate responses go, I don’t think you could do much better than this:

And it’s not often I find myself completely agreeing with Andy Roddick.

End transmission.

25 Responses to “Elf, Interrupted”

  1. sophienz said

    Wow. There’s not really a lot to say now. Thanks for the update though, I actually found that tweet from Andy Roddick to be kind of sweet.
    I’m going to my first slam next year, I hope he’s better by then. 😦

    • gauloises1 said

      Hey Sophie. I certainly didn’t mean to say that nobody should say anything – I’ve just been a little upset by some of the reactions I’ve read elsewhere, and when I’m upset (as I genuinely am by this news), I get a little harsh.

      I would never want to censor you guys. I love you guys. As I get busier and busier, the main reason I still attempt to blog is to read what you’ll say …

      • sophienz said

        Oh no that’s not how I meant it! Without wanting to sound like too much of a fangirl, this is one of my favourite sites. When I said ‘there’s nothing to say now’, I meant I sat staring at the keyboard trying to think of something meaningful to say and just couldn’t cause you’ve covered everything so well.

  2. lilmisslynch said

    Such sad news. Im always on your blog because Im a huge delpo fan and you always have the news first.Glad you havent stopped blogging.

    • gauloises1 said

      I’ll never stop! Well, I might. It was just a long holiday weekend here in the UK that was quite action-packed and then work is also hardcore at the moment. But I persist – if only, as I said above, because I always want to read what the people who read and comment here think … you guys are so much more on the ball than I am!

  3. Saoirse said

    I have been dreading this announcement for months. This is an awful piece of news, if not totally unexpected. I just wish he’d had this done sooner – Oh hello Pico, were you listening to our conversation?

    I have been a tennis fan since my early teenage years and although I have loved many different players during that frame of time and have spent a ridiculous amount of sleepless nights watching bad streaming of my favs on a tiny computer screen, I don’t remember being as obsessively attached to a tennis player as I am to Delpo. I think for most of us, it was just love at first sight. You just can’t help cheering, rooting and wanting nothing but the best for this towering shy boy with big talent, bigger forehand and huge heart.

    For the first time in my life, I see my passion for tennis seriously dimmed. This breaks my heart. It feels like someone ran over my puppy and no amount of hard liquor will cheer me up. This is what the abyss must look like. It’s all downhill for me ’til 2011, folks.

    Get well soon, Juan. You take care of that injured wrist and we’ll try to take care of our broken hearts. Now excuse me while I check myself into the nearest mental hospital.

  4. naughty T....urbane gentleman said

    sorry G… this is shitty..
    I found myself agreeing with RAndy a lot today.

  5. AmyLu said

    I am so gutted by this news. I was really hoping he could avoid surgery. 😦

    I am glad, though, that he addressed all the ridiculous speculation and rumors that were swirling in Argentina. Am just hoping all goes well with his recovery, as I miss his presence so much on the court.

  6. irefusetotellyou said

    Well. Well, well.

    As depressing as this may be, I still consider myself to be a fairly relaxed, optimistic person, so I’m not *TOO* worried or broken up. (… er … or maybe I’m just too lazy to get emotional. Oh, right, that’d be it.)

    I guess I don’t have too much else to add–of a substantive nature, that is–except to say that I might be more worried about Gaulzy than about Delpo. 😯


  7. rafadoc said

    Been thinking of you a lot Gauloises (not being creepy…I swear!) in regards to Juan. You have been a fan forever…I think of you as his first fan, actually. When I think of Elf, I think of you. I am very sad for you, friend.

    The good thing is that he is fixing it! I have all the confidence in Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic. Its the best…he is getting the best care and he will be back. He has boat loads of heart so his recovery will be speedy and we will see him again soon. I really believe that.

    In a “trying to cheer you up” attempt…weren’t you born in Minnesota? Isn’t that some type of cosmic sign you two kids are meant for each other? :-S

  8. Cubbie_Carrie said

    Awww- hugs to you G. And your post on TW was awesome.

    Thanks for posting his full remarks. I really like that he wrote them himself. They seem heartfelt- I will take that over any publicist remarks any day (looks askanse at Pete Bodo)

    This has really hit me. I am surprised by how much. I was so looking forward to seeing him at the French this year, to see if he would find his feet on the grass and to see him attempt to defend his title at the USO. Now the first two are definatly out and the last two in doubt.

    I know this is just sports and I have seen some of my faves knocked out by injuries before (hello Rafa… just for starters). But this just seems so soon after he finally started to have decent stints of health (he was getting injured quite a bit when he was younger) and it seems so severe. And as a lot of us here know- sometimes when you start following individual sports folks- you just tend to wish the best for them as people. And it makes me sad to see Elf thrown off so young. I like the dude and have for a long while- back in the days with the goofy huge hair and acne and him being excited about getting good high school grades. And it is too early for him to be an Icarus.

    And the thing that really sucks to me is that I feel like Delpo was not always given the respect he deserved for the USO title (saw the word fluke thrown around too much for my likeing). I think he is darned talented and darn tooting deserved that title. Now if he does not play until next year he will drop to 20 or below…sigh.

    But silver lining- silver lining- He is young. He is determined from the sounds of his remarks. And other players like Andre have come back from surgery. He will be an Andre- not a Guga. And I think it has made some folks realize what he did bring to the game.

    • AmyLu said

      Completely agree on how wonderful your post was at TW. I hadn’t read Pete’s post (don’t really frequent TW at all any more) and rather wish I hadn’t, but your post was phenomenal. Carrie your posts were great too!

  9. crazyone said

    hugs, Gauly and other Delpo fans.

    +1 to Carrie’s praise for your post on TW.

    I can’t take Pete’s posts on Argies…he seems to be biased against them for no good reason at all.

    I really hope Delpo makes a full recovery after all of this and plays at his full strength again. Tennis really needs him.

    And there’s a gigantic Delpo-sized hole in Gauloises’ heart when he doesn’t play 😉

  10. Westney said

    Bummer x 1000. I totally agree with Andy- the game is much better when he’s healthy. I’m sad he’s going to miss the French, especially since he got so far last year. But from this message and what I read on James LaRosa’s twitter (“I’m used to fighting adversity and I have all the strength to pull this off”), he hasn’t lost that incredible fighting spirit. That’s the #1 most important thing in my book. Keep on keepin’ on, Juan.

  11. jessstein said

    I’m positive for Delpo’s recovery, he’s very young and have several years ahead of him (not like Haas or Dima T_T who have been injured since forever).

    and *big hug* for all Delpo’s fan.

  12. Northcay said

    Oh, G. This really sucks. Stay awesome,G. Remember, I mistook you for really hot babe in one of JMDP’s matches? (you denied it right away)— I still think of you that way.

  13. lauren said

    Even as a non die-hard Elf fan I feel incredibly sorry for him. It’s shitty, whichever way you look at it, and really awful that he has had to run the gauntlet of the rumour mill. I’m hoping that there may be a silver lining in the end, because by the time he’s ready again he’ll still be young (and impossibly tall), and he’ll be able to come back without the weight of expectation that he was carrying after the USO. He may even get the bonus of avoiding the typical mid career focus slump that so many players get after years of being on tour. Think of it as deferred gratification.

    Meanwhile, I had to check out your TW comment after the praise above (after years of not reading comments there) – and I’ll add my thumbs up. I tip my hat to anyone who uses the phrase ‘Occam’s Razor’. It did get me thinking about how Bodo could be so irked by Delpo’s perceived opaqueness, when I saw it as educated, gentlemanly restraint. It struck me that while the English-speaking tennis fandom/journalism brings a world of people together, language alone doesn’t avoid communication difficulties. Journos can really get my back up by being parochial. Sometimes on blogs I’ve been misunderstood – and bullied – for well-intentioned comments. Even the mysterious process of realising you’ve become a fan of a player is tainted by these culture misconceptions – you either see Murray as self-contained or miserable, Querrey as charming or a boor, Fed as patrician or urbane.

    Excuse my ramblings. I’m hungover.

  14. Imtotallyrad said

    Well this news offically sucks…i have only recently crawled out of my sad little pit of dispear, the rest of the 2010 season is now going to be the most verticaly challenged season ever without delpo towering over them all!! =( its hard to miss someone so giant but i do, im just so so happy I pretended to have food poisoning to get the day off work to go see him play his last game at the Aus Open! not that i like remembering how sad he looked that day but still.

    Im just glad that if something as bad as this had to happen, it happened at the start of his carrer when he is still a young elf sprite and he can recover in the time that is needed and feel no need to rush back on court to prove people he still has “what it takes” (yes, i am vaguely looking in your direction miss. safina), and thank god he has a good head on his shoulders and isn’t anywhere near as headcase-y as some of the other players can be, i never really put much by the “stage fright, panic attack” rumours because he seems like the kind of guy who has his sh*t together for the most part, and as bad as this news is im just glad we finally know what our favourite 6ft 6in Elf is upto and we can stop wondering (but probably not worrying)

    so to sum up my ramblings….this news is sad and i think i need something slightly stronger then coffee to drink right about now… 😦

  15. neilintoronto said

    Hey G! First a hearty hug for you, Elf’s number one fan! Trying to look on the bright side, he’s a young strong dude, so he’ll recover from this and be back and winning, not soon enough obviously for his fans, but soon enough. I hope someone tips him off to your blog, because certainly he’ll feel a lot better after reading this post and all your Elf related posts.

  16. harini said

    Aw *hugs* G. That sucks so much. But he is recovering, yes? And he’ll be back soon enough. As I keep telling my friend who’s moving away for a year, time flies so fast. Before you know it, he’ll be back on tour, kicking ass.

    Get well soon Delpo!

  17. Aleksa said

    There is nothing left for me to say.
    I cannot seem to get out of this sad mood.
    I miss my adorable BumbleBee. Love that tall shy boy.

    And I love Gaul. A lot.
    End of transmission indeed.

    *group hug*

  18. I’m totally with you on this one, sisters and brothers. I miss my lanky Llama a helluva lot. Can’t believe I saw him crumble in front of Marin at AO and got all sad just because I wouldn’t see him again during the tourney – had no idea that was it for six months. I’m just grateful I had those chances.

  19. Cubbie_Carrie said

    Great article by James LaRosa here- who is obviously a big Elf fan

    Nice to see that some of the writers really do enjoy the Elfster.

  20. Salon Game said

    Salon Game…

    […]Elf, Interrupted « New Balls, Please[…]…

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