World No.2 back in Manchester after second knee operation
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
Nick Matthew is approaching the new season after undergoing minor knee surgery in the summer.
The three-time world champion from Sheffield will be testing his form and fitness when he bids to retain his AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix title in Manchester from September 11-14.
Matthew, the 35-year-old world number two, underwent a successful operation on his left knee in July to repair a small tear in the meniscus, an exact replica of the injury and surgery he went through five weeks before Glasgow 2014, where he went on to win gold and silver medals, making him a triple gold medallist.
Matthew, recently awarded an OBE for services to squash, has undergone a busy rehabilitation programme, augmenting his court work with gym sessions and, according to Facebook posts, some cycle runs, and is ready to defend his AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix title in his first event of the 2015-2016 season.
The World No.2’s bid to defend the title he won in impressive fashion in 2014 will begin with a first round match against compatriot Chris Simpson, with a potential quarter-final clash with long-time rival James Willstrop.
“The new injury came as something of a shock, occurring in my first full week back in training after a break to rest both physically and mentally after last season. It is bizarre to say the least that having never had any knee problems before I’ve had two identical operations in two years,” said Matthew.
“The difference this year has been that time has been on my side and I have been able to conduct a more patient and thorough rehab. The aim has been to be fit for a full season rather than a one-off event like the Commonwealth Games last year.
“As always I’ve been indebted to the support of the medical staff at the English Institute of Sport, both in Sheffield and Manchester, and hope to repay them by making a successful return at the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix.
“I am as motivated as ever and hope to be in a position to challenge for more major titles once my match sharpness returns.”
The AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix, part of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, will take place at the National Squash Centre in Manchester from 11-14 September. Matthew will then go on to compete in the Net Suite Open in San Francisco and U.S. Open in Philadelphia.