At 39, the eldest of the Karabatic brothers, Nikola, has been out of action since last February. He no longer set foot on a parquet floor because of phlebitis (thrombosis) in his right leg that requires treatment with anticoagulants. This is the third time in his career that the handball player has been affected by this kind of problem.
In an interview with the newspaper L'Equipe, the player of the France team and Paris-Saint-Germain explained that he had found the source of the problem, "I have a genetic abnormality - not very rare - which makes me have a level of an amino acid in the blood, homocysteine, which is very high. This is rarer, and it is a factor that triggers blood clotting easily. »
The detection of this anomaly did not worry the three-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012 and 2020), who even said he was relieved, "At first, I said to myself: thin! But actually, it's pretty positive that we've found something. Otherwise, I could have been told: it's over, you don't play hand anymore and you're under treatment for life. »
"I really live from day to day"
Karabatic will now be able to deal with this problem and should make his return to competition for the 2023-2024 season. "Now there is a reason and a treatment to put in place, a vitamin treatment to lower this level of homocysteine in the blood. Once this rate has dropped, it is assumed that I will no longer thrombosis as a result of injuries, fingers crossed, as soon as I have done the six months of treatment. »
He does not close the door to a participation in the Euro in Germany next January, but does not yet project himself on the Paris Olympics, "I know that the Olympics are coming, it's in a corner of my head. But I really live from day to day, it's the best way to function because it can be stressful to think about it every day when you get up," he explained.