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Rafael Nadal – one of the most famous names in world tennis has been missing from the tour for over three months now. In that span, Nadal has missed marquee events such as the Olympics and the US Open.
In a recent interview, Nadal said that he was still under considerable pain in his left knee. Nadal said, he wants to return, but will only comeback once he has recovered fully.
"I am working as much as I can, I am doing everything they tell me to every day and the truth is that right now things are going well, more or less," the 26-year-old Spaniard said. "The only thing is that I need bit more time," he added.
"We'll see how things develop in the next few weeks but my priority is to recover well, not quickly but well. Obviously as soon as possible but the main thing is to have the certainty that you are fine when you do return."
"I will return to the court when I feel that the knee no longer gives me any pain, whether that is in two weeks or in three or four."
Nadal has had a history of knee problems, his style of play has always taken a toll on his body. His latest was diagnosed as a partial tear of the patella tendon and an inflammation of the Hoffa's fat pad.
The Spaniard has been unable to participate in an event ever since his early exit at Wimbledon to Czech Lucas Rosol.
A return to action for the former World No.1 does look unlikely this year, despite claims from doctors saying he could be back in a month.
"I think tennis is a very aggressive and demanding sport and obviously the knees suffer above all when you are playing on hard courts," Nadal said.
“On fast courts the movements are much more aggressive, when you are playing at your maximum you have to push your body to the limit."
"I have had problems with my knees, others have other problems."
"The reality is that at the age of 26 and after a career of more than 10 years, with very good results, it has been my good fortune that my knees have not prevented me competing at the highest level for many years."
"I hope that when I return they don't hinder me."
Earlier in the year, Nadal had played some brilliant tennis. He had only narrowly lost in the Aussie Open final and then won a record seventh Roland Garros title.
Nadal is aiming to get back to that kind of form when he returns to action. The Spaniard said he wanted to play pain free and wants to be able to perform at his optimum level.
"What I hope for is to be ready to compete again for everything I want to compete for, like I did in the first six months of the year," he said. "That is what I will try to achieve, it's what I will fight for and work every day.
"I am 26 years old and I am confident I have plenty of years ahead. What I want is to recover well and to continue enjoying tennis and competition, which is what make me happy right now."
Being one of the biggest patriots on tour, Nadal was devastated when he missed the Olympic games. His country is now in the final of the Davis Cup too, but the left hander is not sure whether he will be a part of that team which plays the series from Nov 16-18.
He has only lost one of 21 singles rubbers in the competition but 16 of those wins have come on clay and as the home team the Czechs are almost certain to select hard courts.
"If things go well and I can make the final and the captain thinks I am the right person to play it then I'll be there," he said. "If not, I'll be supporting the guys from afar."
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