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You've got to have respect for this bloke

American Taylor Dent has made a comeback to tennis this year and faces Roger Federer tomorrow in the fourth round at the Miami Masters Series. Dent has returned from major back surgery, something that 99.9% of people would have retired from.

From the Times...

It is difficult to put into words the courage shown by Taylor Dent, who will be 28 next month and has qualified for the Sony Ericsson Open, where he will be Roger Federer's fourth round opposition. Let him take up the story of his absence from the sport from March 2007, and how he had his sights sets on becoming either a commentator or a coach because he did not know if he would ever play again. He suffered from an injury called spondylolisthesis. He tells The Net Post: "That's the technical name for it, but in layman's terms, my last vertebrae, the L-5, was broken on both sides. It was a bilateral pars fracture. The first surgery was to try and put this bone growth compound over the fractures and hope that it mended on its own. That didn't work, so I had a fusion. They took out the bottom half of my L-5 vertebra and put a rod in there, some cages and some screws, and fused it all up."

Dent said that he spent close to a year in bed between two surgeries. "I had a cast from my armpit down to my knee for, you know, pretty much the whole time." He says that the fact that he is out here, slugging away, and fighting hard is "a dream come true." He remembers playing Federer once before in the juniors in Rotterdam. "Oh no, I mean Roehampton, where they play the Wimbledon qualifiers, it's been a long time away, you've got to cut me some slack."


A year in a cast from the chest to the knee, in the prime of his life! Now that's dedication....

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