He likes to play villain but deep down he is a patriotic softy. Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s only realistic hope for a first home Grand Slam winner since 1976 has been ruled out of the year’s opening major. Nick has been very active since the year started. By playing a charity practice match with Novak Djokovic, he not only endeared himself to the locals, it apparent cost him the Aussie Open. A slight tear was detected on the lateral meniscus otherwise known as the knee. What causes the tear? It is not that difficult to see that tennis has a lot of impact on the knees. Sliding and running after lost causes is the name of the game and sometimes the knee twists the wrong way. It is an impact injury meaning that it may not be visible to the naked eye but the victim has got to be in agony. The fact that he played on against Nole showed that he didn’t want to let the fans down and possibly the injury progressed gradually. This is not to say Nick couldn’t play on against Nick Safiullin tomorrow. Although movement somewhat, with the right pain meds and heavy bandaging one can play especially low stakes matches. Now let’s explain what exactly is injured when the meniscus is torn.

The knee is three bones intersecting together without touching each other. Touching each other would be disastrous as the friction will ear down the bone faster than you can say arthritis. Tissue called a meniscus acts as a shield against this rubbing together but it is anything but flexible. It cannot withstand certain force, thus a tear is more than possible. This injury is common in most team sports like basketball and also in individual sports like tennis and badminton. Like said earlier, not all are serious but walking the cautious route doesn’t hurt. One should immediately stop the activity, bandage ,after cold or warm compress depending on your beliefs, and elevating. I don’t know if Nick will have surgery on his knee, but what I do know is small torn meniscus injuries heal on their own. What we know is it developed a cyst which is not a good thing because cysts indicate some sort of infection. So the right call was made by Nick’s doctors. The Australian Open, which is lacking star power in the form of players such as Osaka, Alcaraz , Venus and Monfils, couldn’t afford to lose a high profile player like Kyrgios. So it begs the question is it the timing of the event or is it the poor scheduling by the players’ backing staff? For me its a little bit of both. Coming from a holiday season and straight to the grueling hard court Slam under extreme temperatures isn’t my favorite mug of Victoria Bitter. I guess this is a matter of preference on both sides.