Jenson Brooksby underwent arthroscopic left wrist surgery on Tuesday in California to repair his tendon subsheath. The American’s tendon was 100 per cent dislocated.
The successful surgery, performed by Dr. Steven Shin, will keep Brooksby off court for 10 to 12 weeks. He plans to use the time to work on other areas of his game and be fully ready once healthy enough to return to tennis.
“I knew it was something that was pretty bad and I’d have to miss some time,” Brooksby said. “I tried to take the conservative route with it but it was to no avail. There was still a lot of pain and it’s the last option, so it’s just what I have to do now.”
The injury has bothered Brooksby for two years, but it has been getting worse since December. When he played Cameron Norrie in Auckland, the American was forced to slice his backhand throughout the second set. Brooksby did not hit backhands again until the day before his first-round match at the Australian Open.
The 22-year-old’s team told him to withdraw from the season’s first Grand Slam, but after missing the 2022 Australian Open following a positive Covid-19 test, Brooksby wanted to compete. He went on to upset second seed Casper Ruud in the second round.
“It’s always tough to go through an injury like that. I felt like I’d had a good offseason otherwise. I was getting more in shape and had a good level, which I showed there,” Brooksby said. “It wasn’t easy, but that’s just the competitor I am. Once I was in the tournament, I just wanted to do the best I could and see after that.”
When Brooksby returned to the United States after losing in the third round, he visited Dr. Shin in Los Angeles. He then went to Florida, where he trained and saw another doctor twice, before she advised surgery was the proper route to follow. Brooksby then returned to California to undergo the operation with Dr. Shin.
“Of course having to do the last option sucks. But I think the only way to look at it is that the glass is half full. I need to focus on the things I can control right now, which is find a good coach and team around me and get certain areas of my body better, footwork, things like that,” said Brooksby, who recently parted ways with longtime coach Joseph Gilbert. “[This is] so that once the wrist is healthy and I’m ready to get back on court, everything else will have made a lot of progress. From there it’s just feeling the wrist in [my] tennis.”
Brooksby explained that rehab and training will take up most of his time. But he is also looking forward to spending more time with family and friends when possible and doing things he otherwise would not have time for, like enjoying the outdoors.
“I’ll just use the opportunity to get away a little bit, reset mentally and improve in areas I can,” Brooksby said. “Once I’m ready to be back I’ll be as ready as I can to go and get back out there and climb up.”
According to the World No. 49, this will also give him an opportunity to make improvements to his game, particularly to his serve. Although it is a difficult moment in his young career, Brooksby is hungry to come out of the situation better than ever and continue pushing towards his ultimate goal of winning a Grand Slam.
“I’m excited. I’m confident I’ll be able to get a lot of areas [in my game] better now,” Brooksby said. “Obviously I’ll be very motivated to get back to where I was and climb even higher. I think my ceiling is really, really high so I’m excited to just be more independent and do my best to reach my goals.”