I gave it a try (don't shoot the pianist when there are mistakes as I'm not an expert
This “damned” shoulder
Edgardo and Emiliano, brothers and once very promising players of their generation, both had to retire because of the the same injury. “Also our dad had this same problem”, the youngest said.
Edgardo Massa, coming from the same “litter” as Nalbandian and Coria, had to spend a lot of time with his fysio and many injuries and operations sadly forced him to say goodbye to tennis.
Emiliano, his younger brother and a very promising junior (Won Roland Garros doubles and the Orange Bowl), also had to retire because of his shoulder and gives tennis classes in Formosa now.
Both brothers tell Olé about their feelings about the retirement and their plans for the future.
Edgardo, was it very difficult for you to leave tennis?
- I have been thinking it over carefully.
I always tried the impossible to be able to continue playing because it’s something I have been doing since I was a kid.
But the amount of shoulder injuries, and the last one being very painful, made me take this decision.
I was trying my best but the shoulder didn’t respond. It was not because of that last tear but because even if I recovered, the injury would probably keep coming back.
Did you regret this decision very much?
- I am not feeling sorry.
It was very hard and I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be.
Mentally it was unbearable. I was doing the impossible but the shoulder didn’t respond. Also the fact that the injury kept coming back, was very hard to take. There was no other way.
But still I’m very grateful for what I experienced in my career and for the people I’ve known thanks to it.
How many times did you have surgery?
- I had four operations: two in the left shoulder, one in right and one on the hip.
Later, I also had tears in my hand and a foot fracture…
If it wasn’t for the injuries, could your career have turned out differently?
- It could have been much better, because I was full of confidence and also after each injury I started again with much expectation.
In 2007 it was the hardest, because I then I had a lapse of six months in which I couldn’t defend any points and had to undergo surgery twice
Will you completely leave the circuit?
- No, I’m not.
I follow everything related to tennis: I started training a junior player, a girl, Aranza Salut.
And I have the intention of starting a tennis academy in Formosa with my brother to make a living.
How difficult was it for you to retire?
- It was a very difficult decision but I had no other choice because of physical reasons.
I had a shoulder operation and although I tried very hard for eight months with the rehab in Formosa and Buenos Aires, it didn’t work out.
Was it a premature decision?
- Fact is I lost 9 months because of the arm. 4 months to go to the gym and do the rehab. I was very painful and I didn’t see any progress.
At present I’m able to play, but not at a high level. My condition won’t be stable and I wouldn’t feel good at playing at 70% when I want to be 100%. On these terms it won’t be possible to achieve what I want.
Will you need a psychologist?
- No, I don’t fancy psychologists. I went there once and he did not convince me.
A psychologist’s job is very particular, some people are more open to it then others. And a psychologist can help you in some way, but not in taking the final decision.
Do you come from a family with shoulder problems?
- My dad has the same problem, but he took it very well.
I had the same injury then my brother, which is called SLAP. A SLAP tear is an injury to a part of the shoulder joint called the labrum. A specific type of labral tear is called a SLAP tear; this stands for “Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior”. The SLAP tear occurs at the point where the tendon of the biceps muscle inserts on the labrum. (this explanation I looked up
The pain never goes away and it makes it impossible to play regularly. No matter how hard you recover, it always returns.