This is an article he wrote for The Tennis Tribe
He's been out of action with an elbow injury for quite a while and is on the recovery trail
Adam Feeney: Nothing can keep me away from tennis
December 30, 2009, 2:02am
By Adam Feeney
In February 2009 I began to feel some discomfort in my right elbow when I served. I didn’t think much of it initially. I have previously had issues with my ulna nerve in my elbow and had been told it couldn't get any worse. So I was told!!
Unfortunately, it did get progressively worse and by June, when I was in America playing Futures and Challenger tournaments, and my elbow hurt on everything apart from backhands. I had to take anti inflammatory medication before every match just to get through. After seeing a few physiotherapists over there, I realised that I had to come home and get it sorted out once and for all.
Back in Australia I saw Dr Kuah, a Sports Doctor at the NSW Institute of Sport where I was diagnosed with “medial epicondylitis”, commonly known as Golfer's Elbow.
I bet you’re thinking "hang on you play tennis, don't you mean tennis elbow?" As I discovered, Tennis Elbow is tendonitis of the outside of the elbow, whereas Golfer's Elbow is the inside of the elbow.
At my first appointment I was given a cortisone injection and within 3 weeks and with a bit of rehab I was back on court. Unfortunately this was short lived as after three weeks of training the pain was back again.
My Doctor asked if I would consider a relatively new treatment called PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). I suppose I had nothing to lose!
PRP is a procedure which saw them draw out some of my blood, put it in a centrifuge and spin it round until the platelets separate. From there, they inject the platelet rich plasam back into the injury site.
I needed this treatment on two occasions, with 6 weeks in between sessions and was given a very basic rehab program by my physiotherapist, Kingsley Gibson. Gradually I was able to get back into the gym and started doing some upper body weights. After the 2nd PRP Treatment the rehab began to become more tennis specific and stressful on my forearm to prepare it to be able to handle lots of repetition so I could hit plenty of tennis balls again.
Throughout my rehabilitation I have been receiving physiotherapy and acupuncture therapy to get my forearm loose. On alternative weeks, I also receive a deep tissue massage for my whole body from my massage therapist Ian McCoy.
During my recovery I have been doing weight training on my legs as well as endurance and sprint training in order to maintain my strength and fitness. My coach, Janine Thompson thought why not come back out on court and start hitting left handed and doing court sprints with her. So, this began my left handed career for the next 10 weeks!
I thought hitting left handed could be fun and challenging but what I didn't know was that Janine wanted me to use a wooden racquet to make it even harder! Looking back at that experience I feel it has kept my eye in and allowed me to keep using tennis movement patterns. Of course, playing left handed against my mates has also kept the competitive fire burning!
Janine asked me to help out at Parramatta Tennis complex with a few local squads. During this time I did some tennis specific fitness exercises with one of her players, Natasha Fragos, who is a very talented young junior girl. As well as the fitness, I was also going to tournaments to do match analysis for another one of her up and coming players, Brooke Taylor. This experience has been really enlightening as I have never really seen the game from an outside perspective. Without doubt I was able to take a few things away from the sessions myself and I have hopefully passed on some good lessons to the girls as well.
From working with these players and spending time at their tournaments it's been great to see that there is plenty of up and coming talent in NSW. In January I will again be assisting Janine with the junior country Fed Cup teams who are competing in Sydney. I feel privileged that the knowledge I have gained from my years on the tour can be passed on to the younger kids coming through. Without doubt the biggest lesson I have learned in my career that life as a tennis professional is not just about money and glory, it's also (more importantly) about hard work and lots of sacrifice.
Until now, the longest period of time I have been home in a single visit over the past 7 years has been around 3 weeks. So, 6 months out of tennis I thought I would go insane. In reality though it has gone rather quickly. My time off has meant that I have been able to do a few things that I usually wouldn’t because I'm travelling so much.
I went to the snow for three days, something I hadn't done since I was 15, which was really good fun. I have also been able to spend a lot more time with my girlfriend Nikita, catch up with more of my family on the Central Coast, play with my little nephew, and hang out with some good mates. This lifestyle has made being injured and not being on the tour seem not too bad.
But in saying that, I have been jumping out of my skin to get back on tour and playing again, especially now as the Australian summer is about to start.
I started hitting right handed 3 weeks ago (with a little sadness from my lefty coach who thought I had a promising left handed career!). These sessions were only 20 minutes every 2nd day with a ratio of 3 backhands to 1 forehand. I am now up to over 30 minutes every second day, but with an even ratio of backhands to forehands. I still haven't served yet as this comes when I progress to an hour of hitting. So far, all has been well and I haven't felt any pain which is great. Having to ice after every session does get a bit tedious at times though!
I'm aiming to be back playing tournaments hopefully by the middle of February at the grass court Futures events around Australia. Once I get back I will be happy to get a full season in 2010 where my goal is to get my ranking up to 250. This should then set me up for a big year in 2011!