A few days shy of a year since my injury, I played tennis. This was the first time I hit the court since a day or two before my injury, and I will say that in many ways, the tennis stroke is like riding a bike. If the ball was hit to me by my patient partner (shout out to JP), then I could easily return it, even with a decent amount of pace. The lateral movement (obvi!) was the tough part, a bit more difficult even than the arduous forward run.
How to qualify this return to the court? A competitive match? Besides a well-placed lob over my head as I "rushed" the net, my partner was very helpful in hitting returns that allowed me to move just a few feet in whatever direction in order to return the ball. His shots were more or less prescribed, and on a few, I even told him exactly where to hit it. We rarely served, and when we did, we both seemed to have an unspoken agreement that made us go for a winner down a line that would eliminate any needless rallies if successful or not. We ended our play with a best of three match ("Sets?" I said incredulously); the winner getting two games. I'm proud to say that I lost a three game thriller, winning on serve in game two. Let it be known that the great majority of my points were on semi-long rallies where my opponent could have easily moved me around with a well-placed drop shot, but chose not to take candy from this baby.
So, all in all, I would say our match was analogous to the "simulated game" a recovering pitcher will use to get himself back to professional baseball shape.
Do you think then, that my pumped fist at the end of my winning game was in some way "simulated" or not genuine?
(See above for some practice footage)