Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus of Brazil has undergone successful shoulder surgery, his third operation over the course of his career.
“The price of titanium has risen to 716 days until the Paris Games,” read the 33-year-old freestyle sprinter’s Instagram today, accompanied by a photo with his arm in a brace post-surgery.
Fratus first underwent shoulder surgery in 2013, while his second took place in 2018, with the latter resulting in his withdrawal from that year’s Pan Pacific Championships.
However, he fully recovered and went on to take the bronze in the men’s 50m freestyle at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which took place last year due to a coronavirus pandemic postponement.
As to why Fratus chose to undergo surgery now, the Brazilian ace tells SwimSwam, “It’s perfect timing with it being 2 years away from the Olympic Games. You want to fix everything you have to get fixed and then still have a full Olympic cycle.”
Fratus says in his warm-up before the World Championships semi-finals he felt a pinch in his shoulder, while he had also been experiencing a loss of strength.
In Budapest this year, Fratus led the men’s 50m freestyle out of the heats with a time of 21.71 before posting a 21.83 to tie Frenchman Maxine Grousset for 8th out of the semi’s, resulting in a swim-off. Grousset ended up at the wall first in a mark of 21.59 that dual, beating Fratus by only .03.
Looking back, Fratus says that his shoulder actually started acting up at the 2019 Pan American Games but says it ‘really wasn’t a problem. No technique or power was sacrificed and we were able to manage the injury via physical therapy and rehab,’
However, since then it grew to a point where it needed to be surgically fixed, with Fratus now most likely not racing the rest of this year.
He says, “The rest of this year will focus on recovery.”