Speaking last week during a conference call for the March Madison Square Garden exhibition with Juan Martin Del Potro, the sidelined Rafael Nadal gave an update on his continued rehabilitation, and maybe some hope for a return sooner than later.
“I’m working hard every day to recover as quick as possible,” Nadal said. “Feeling a little bit better now than the first couple of months. I’ve been very, very tough for me, because I feel that my knee didn’t move in the right way, right direction. But today is something different now. I feel the last couple of weeks I can feel the improvement in my knee. It feels very different now. The groove on my knee is something that I really can feel and it’s something that helped a lot of me to keep working hard, to keep doing everyday what I have to do. Today, at the moment, I am working to try to come back to practice in the tennis court for not very long periods of time.”
Since he’s taking things day-by-day in his recovery, Nadal hasn’t officially set a target return event so the upcoming ATP Finals in London hasn’t been ruled out.
“That’s something I will know when my knee is completely without pain,” Nadal said. “It could take 3 weeks, it could take one month and a half, I don’t know. Today what I think is continue with the treatment, continue with the, and when I don’t feel nothing, I’m hoping that will happen soon, I will come back on the tennis court.”
“Impossible? No. Difficult? Yes,” Nadal said of returning for London and the Davis Cup final. “Let’s go day-by-day. After missing the Olympics and after missing the US Open I don’t want to make goals to play a tournament. I want to go day-by-day in the gym and in the swimming pool to continue with my recovery. I’m trying not to think that far and take it day-by-day.”
Even with Andy Murray’s ascension, Nadal said nothing has changed at the top of men’s tennis.
“I really don’t see a big difference,” he said looking ahead to 2013. “Even if Andy doesn’t win a Grand Slam before this US Open Andy was ready to win a Grand Slam. The level was no difference. Now that he won a Grand Slam that is not going to change my thoughts.”
Nadal hasn’t played since a Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol on June 28.
The March 4th Tennis Showdown in New York City features Serena Williams against Victoria Azarenka and then Nadal vs. Del Potro.
This past Sunday, Nadal sat down with CNN Spain’s Ana Pastor for this exclusive interview:
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