I have had “tennis elbow” and recovered from that, after enforced rest, but only today have I heard of “tennis leg,” meaning tendonitis of the Achilles heel.
When I told my Tennis pal Tony about my sore ankle and how it has been this way for a week or so ever since I pushed off to chase a ball, he gave me his most serious face and told me to check it out.
Tony is a tennis student with much wisdom and attention to detail, so I followed his advice, and checked out a medical journal and this is how they put it: “Tennis leg is a musculotendinous junction rupture: a stretch, tear, or complete rupture of the connection between the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle and the Achilles tendon. Tennis and soccer players over 40 are the most frequent sufferers. The injury often occurs when lunging or pushing off one leg to get to a wide ball or serve.”
I do not pretend to understand this, but it does not look good on the page.
When I was a baby it was foretold that I would die in tennis battle. My mother, Beatrice, dangled me by the left ankle in a tin bath full of Epsom salts and toads, believing that this would provide me with tennis powers of invincibility. Only my heel was not immersed in the magical soup.
Apparently I am advised to rest the “Achilles” for at least a week. This is almost unthinkable for an otherwise finely tuned athlete. I am left wondering if I can cope without my three times a week tennis fix.