Shrewsbury Town's Romain Vincelot hopes historic Andy Murray style hip operation will prolong his career
Shrewsbury Town’s Romain Vincelot is delighted to become the first footballer to follow in tennis ace Andy Murray’s footsteps and have a successful hip resurfacing operation.
Vincelot turns 34 next week but is hopeful yesterday’s surgery will extend his career for another four to five years.
The operation was led by hip specialist professor Damien Griffin and saw the ball of Vincelot’s hip joint smoothed down and covered with a metal cap, and a layer of metal also placed in the pelvic socket in which it sits.
And Vincelot has taken heart from Murray’s reaction to the operation as the British tennis ace won his first tournament in two years to lift the ATP European title in Belgium earlier this month.
That victory came just 10 months after he had the surgery in January and Vincelot is hoping to be back at the end of this season.
He said: “It is what Andy Murray had, I follow him quite a lot now.
“He won that championship recently and I was like ‘wow, that is brilliant’. I saw his game against Dominic Thiem three weeks ago who is number five (in the world).
“It was a very good game and they were competing toe to toe so I thought that was brilliant. Tennis is a lot of acceleration, deceleration and change of direction so you can relate that to football.
“I’m very happy to see what he is doing. In football the surgeon does not think it has been done before so it is hard to tell on the time frame, but thankfully I have Andy Murray to look at.
“In his interviews he has said he has ‘just been pain free and it has been brilliant’. He’s enjoyed playing tennis again, which he said he was not before the surgery.
“He was crawling through tournaments or not entering and I can relate that to me.
“For 90 minutes when I was playing I did enjoy it because there was competition and I was just so happy to be on the pitch for competition but it was just a fight against pain for 90 minutes.
“I was just exhausted after that. For me now I’m like a kid, I’m so excited, I just look forward to playing football without pain.
“But it is hard to predict, you never know how it can go. There is not much of a time frame as it has not been done much, but I really believe that I can be back competing before the end of the season.”
Vincelot has made just seven appearances for the Shrews since joining from League Two side Crawley Town in January.
And he says he has opted to have this surgery to ensure he can return to football pain-free and end his career on a high.
He added: “Unfortunately I could not carry on with how it is right now because it is unbearable.
“The good news is that there is a solution and I really believe that after that I will be back to my full potential and enjoy playing again.
“I think I will feel so good after this that it will be a new chapter.
“I did not want to finish (my career) and crawl through the line, I do things full throttle.
“I did not like not being able to train once a week and not be available for selection. If I was on the bench a few times and warming up I was always trying to get warm and get ready for 10 or 20 minutes.
“It was a mental workout too because I was going out on the touchline, warming up and it was very painful.
“I had to make a decision and I believe it is the best decision.
“I know I will be 34 soon but for me it is just a number because I am a really good player at this level and I’d hope for four of five years (more).”