Injured Nadal hopes to resume practice soon
Rafael Nadal is eager to trade in his backstroke for his
Swimming as part of his rehabilitation from a left knee injury,
Nadal said he has been more encouraged recently about his progress
and hopes to resume practice soon. He didn’t rule out playing next
month in the ATP World Tour Finals or Davis Cup final, but added
that such a quick return would be difficult.
”I don’t want to put any goals to play a tournament,” Nadal
said Tuesday. ”I want to go day by day. I go every day to the gym
and the swimming pool to continue with my recovery. I am trying to
not think that far.”
Nadal spoke from his home in Mallorca during a conference call
to promote his participation in an exhibition in New York in March.
He has also said he’ll enter an exhibition in Abu Dhabi in late
The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since losing in
the second round of Wimbledon in June. A partially torn patella
tendon forced him to miss the Olympics, where he was the defending
gold medalist, and the U.S. Open, where he was the 2010 champion
and 2011 runner-up.
After deciding against surgery, Nadal was at first discouraged
about how he responded to his rehabilitation regimen.
”I am feeling a little bit better now than the first couple of
months,” he said. ”It has been very, very tough for me because I
feel my knee didn’t improve in the right direction, but today is
something different. The last couple of weeks the improvement of my
knee is something I really can feel.”
Because of his long layoff, Nadal figures he’ll likely need to
hit balls for several weeks at least before he returns to
competition. The biggest remaining events this year are the ATP
World Tour Finals in London Nov. 5-12 and Spain’s Davis Cup final
against the Czech Republic Nov. 16-18.
”I will need a period of time of practice,” he said. ”I don’t
know if that will take a few weeks or one month and a half.”
Nadal said he watched ”a few matches” during the U.S. Open and
felt bad he was unable to take part.
”That’s the sport,” he said. ”That’s the negative part of our
Nadal, 26, has battled recurring knee trouble for years and
finds hard-court matches especially difficult. But he said he can’t
curtail his playing schedule if he wants to keep contending for a
”I can make a few adjustments, but not much,” he said. ”It’s
very difficult to think about a completely different calendar for