2018-11-22 13:00:00 CET
The Italian blocker is making his way back to the sand after knee surgery and he’s confident he’ll be at his best shape very soon
If you follow the Beach Volleyball Major Series, you probably already knew that knee surgery certainly wouldn’t be enough to stop Alex Ranghieri. The bullish Italian blocker hasn’t stepped onto a beach volleyball court since April, but he’s finally about to come back – and he plans to be stronger than ever.
A veteran of 62 World Tour events, Ranghieri, who won bronze at the 2015 Poreč Major, was playing with a damaged right knee since last year. However, in April, while he competed at the World Tour four-star event in Xiamen, he had two lacerations on his patellar tendon when he approached the net for a spike and that was the sign that he couldn’t go any further without a surgery.
The Italian had to cut his 2018 season short after finishing ninth at the Fort Lauderdale Major, where together with partner Marco Caminati, he beat the reigning world champions Evandro Gonçalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil, and underwent surgery on May 21, missing all three of the Beach Major Series events in the summer.
After six long months, Ranghieri, who’s nicknamed on the Tour as The Net Patroller, is making the final steps towards his return.
“I was on my feet without crutches less than 14 hours after surgery, but the rehab process was long and painful,” Ranghieri told beachmajorseries.com. “The doctors said it should take me six months to be completely healed and they cleared me to practice without restrictions just last week, so that’s where I stand right now. I feel good, I just need to regain my best shape and I’m already preparing for next season.”
"Injuries are part of the game. Sometime they just come as a reminder that we are living the dream" Sorry to announce that I'll be out of courts for a while. Crazy like how every time I was forced to stop something major was happening. All happens for a reason. I have to take care of my knee and of my loved ones. #IWill come back, you can bet on it. STRONGER, like I always did...
2,724 Likes, 37 Comments - Alex Ranghieri (@alexranghieri) on Instagram: ""Injuries are part of the game. Sometime they just come as a reminder that we are living the dream"..."
Because of the injury, Ranghieri was forced to sit out of the first tournaments in which teams could collect points towards the Olympic qualification rankings for the 2020 Games. While Caminati competed with Enrico Rossi over the last months, the blocker worked hard with his physio team on his rehab.
Ranghieri, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics with Adrian Carambula and finished ninth, is confident the unexpected hurdle won’t hurt his chances of returning to the Games in 2020 with Caminati.
“I had a major surgery on my right shoulder in 2011 and it prevented me from qualifying for the London Olympics,” the blocker recalled. “Now I over trained a disorder and maybe I should have had surgery at the end of 2017, but I thought I could keep playing and I covered it. With that out of the way, I actually feel like I’m closer to qualifying to Tokyo as I have nothing stopping me now.”
The Net Patroller is targeting a return at the four-star event in the Hague, in the first week of January. Known as one of the most physical players to compete in the World Tour, the Italian is overly confident he’ll be back to his beast mode sooner than many would think.
“My plan is to play in the Hague in January and I’m hoping I won’t be too far from where I left,” the Italian added. “Actually, I want to come back even stronger. Just give me these five weeks I have until the tournament to work on it and I’ll be the monster everyone used to see again.”
Welcome back, Alex!