Just recently there has been an array of injuries to squash players. Nick Matthew had his knee operated on before the Commonwealths, world number four Joelle King will be out for months after an achilles operation, and Ramy Ashour has missed several events because of his troublesome hamstring. And these are the more major ones.
I joined the list recently. I had known my hip needed attention for a while after some less than positive scans in June. I was able to play and train normally but was looking ahead to surgery.
Squash is one of those sports that if played regularly takes its toll. Aches and pains are part of the deal. The movements squash players make are not only high impact and damaging to the joints, but are done in unusual and varying patterns, often laterally and with lots of rotations, twists and turns. The pressure this exerts on the body is over a period of time is considerable.
So the op was just over a week ago and I am looking at a long road back to moving around a squash court again. I'll be working through it all with Alison Rose up at Coach House Physiotherapy in West Park, and there'll be a full programme of rehab over the next few weeks, whilst non weight bearing. This will likely involve lots of low level exercises done little and often, some pool work, and electrical impulse machines going through the legs. Presently it is so low level that all I need to do is clench my leg muscles whilst reading a book or watching television.
This rehab period of the recovery time is vitally important. It isn't just a matter of sitting around waiting for things to happen. So after a break and with Alison's help maybe I can get another year or two of squash out of this old body yet...
Meanwhile, there's been no dearth of squash action in the past weeks on the world tours as the season starts to wind up.
The Carol Weymuller Open is a precursor to the US Open next week and it has been one of the solid fixtures for the women over the years. The event is currently directed by ex world number three Linda Elriani, the club professional at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, the venue for the tournament. Linda and husband Laurent, also a former French international, have done a great deal to promote the sport there and it has given that community a tremendous boost to have had Linda as their leader. The club have welcomed us several times in the past, when we played exhibitions whilst touring in the States.
The members always give their backing and support to squash activities and the girls always seem to respond to that.
It attracted a stellar field. Nicol David is missing but World number 2 Laura Massaro was seeded one for the event in front of third ranked Egyptian Raneem El Weleily. At time of going to press both had been beaten in the semi finals, Laura by Omneya Abdel Kawy, and Raneem by England's Alison Waters.
The men were in San Francisco last week for the superlative Netsuite Open in San Francisco. I was disappointed that my operation fell on the dates of this; it's a dream tournament to play. Gregory Gaultier continued his form by winning the final against Amr Shabana, and he holds the world number one position again in October.
Mohamed El Shorbagy is hot on his heels though, now at 2, and at the same time was winning a 70k tournament in Mexico, beating his brother Marwan in the final.
The focus turns to Philadelphia next week for the US Open and there is a lot to play for. It begins on the 11th of October and every main draw match can be watched on psasquashtv.com.