It was tough: Professional tennis player says recovery from hip injury has made him a better player

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Professional tennis player, Jody Maginley. (Photo courtesy Jody Maginley)
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By Neto Baptiste

Antigua and Barbuda’s tennis pro, Jody Maginley, said that having to push through what could have been a career-ending injury to recovery back in 2020/21 has made him a much better player.

The US-based player, who had to undergo hip surgery in 2021, pointed to that period as one of the toughest times of his career.

“I didn’t walk for a month because I was on crutches, and then another two or three months without running, so I didn’t actually hit a tennis ball until about four or five months down the line. It took another couple of months after that to start playing at the level where I feel like I can trust my body again, and then another five or six months after that … so it was tough,” he said. 

The player, who is currently on island, said the injury and subsequent surgery affected more than just his physical ability to play the game.

“Coming back after you’ve gotten hurt, it takes a little bit of time to trust your body and the belief that you can still compete. In a way, I felt like not only was I away for the year, but that was also a year when other people were improving, so I didn’t know if I could compete at that level still. My coach did a lot of affirming to me that I am doing all the right things and that in training my level were there.

“So, I just had to be a little bit more stubborn in matches and trust myself in big moments because I felt like I was a bit inconsistent and in the big moments I wasn’t really stepping up. I would say from June on, I got a little bit more stubborn, play a little more angry and that helped me in the big moments to step up,” he said.

Maginley returned to action in February this year when he competed at the 15 Naples, Florida Tournament, and says he is now fully recovered.

He said getting the terrifying news is something that will always be etched into his memory.

“I actually got hurt during Covid … so I had the injury for around seven months just getting worse, because I really didn’t know until I got the test when I was doing pre-season the next year when they told me I’d be out for the rest of the year. They told me on a Monday night that I had a torn labral in my hip and I didn’t really know how bad it was.

“The next morning when I went in to see the physio she was already in tears before she could tell me and that’s when I realised how serious it was,” he said.

Maginley currently boasts an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) singles ranking of 1266 and a doubles ranking of 748.

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