Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal ‘will return once again’ reveals long-time doctor

Rafael Nadal has recently released footage of him back training on court, and his long-time doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro has provided an update on how the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s recovery is going.

Nadal has been out of action since the Australian Open, where he suffered a psoas injury in his second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

This resulted in the Spaniard having to withdraw from his beloved Roland Garros, where he has been champion a record 14 times, for the first time since 2004.

In the press conference where Nadal announced his withdrawal from the Paris major, he also suggested that 2024 could be his final year on the ATP Tour.

Now ranked No.240, Nadal has since undergone arthroscopic surgery at the beginning of June, which was expected to have a five month recovery period.

And now his doctor has provided an update four months on from the operation, “Nadal has a very high mental health base. He is a very strong person, he has shown it in all his years of competition. Really, it is one of his strengths.

“When you have an injury of this type, you come fighting, and then you see that you can’t, and you have to have surgery. It is a difficult situation. You have to help him, from all points of view.”

Despite Ruiz-Cotorro seeming positive about Nadal’s recovery, as well as the man himself posting videos of his training on social media, he did reveal that the full recovery may take an extra month than planned.

“He, since he knows this process and wants to play again, is doing everything possible to make it happen,” said Ruiz-Cotorro. “He has already shown us other times that he has returned; he will return once again.”

The Spanish doctor continued, “We set ourselves this deadline (of five months) because it is important for an athlete to have a goal to stimulate his will to fight and to recover.

“It is difficult to say whether in five months he will be able to play at 100 percent. He may have to take another month to recover.”

Inside the baseline…

It has been suggested that Nadal’s planned return was for the Australian Open next year, and even with an extra month recovery he should still be able to compete at the tournament where he received this injury. It is better for the former No.1 to be cautious in this situation, as the last thing he will want to do is come back too early and force himself into an unsatisfactory retirement.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.