Nadal: “I had a very big breakdown, so I have to be patient” | Sports

Injured since January 18, Rafael Nadal says that he is going through a “difficult time” and that, “because of what may happen,” he jokes, they finish the renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu quickly because he is already -36 to 37, the June 3 – and if Real Madrid has the idea of ​​offering an exhibition in its stadium, it must speed up the pace of the works. Yesterday, Wednesday, the tennis player returned to the Chamartín box to witness the Cup duel between the white team and Barcelona (0-1) and during the intermission he answered questions from the #Vamos channel to comment on how his recovery is going and when he plans to return to action. Cautious and realistic, Nadal called for prudence.

“I go very little by little, I have to go week by week,” introduced the 22-big champion, in the reserve since a month and a half ago he injured his left leg iliopsoas during the second round match of the Open in Australia, against the American Mackenzie McDonald. “I haven’t talked much since then, but I had a big, big breakdown there. I had a very large tear in the muscle [grado 2, según el parte emitido por el doctor Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro al día siguiente del percance] and I tore a little of the tendon, in a very complicated place; the psoas is very important in all sports, but in tennis we get strength from there, ”he specified.

Nadal, whose priority objective is to be able to play and link tournaments to continue feeling like a full tennis player, had no choice but to stop again and take care of a spectacular injury that forces him not to rush. “It is a slower evolution than we would like, so we have no choice but to be patient. It is true that the calendar is passing and I am not 20 years old. When you have a season like the one I have, you get tired, but I do everything I can. I am at the academy every day, training, going to the gym, recovering… I only train 15 or 20 minutes on the track so that the arm does not degenerate, but I am awaiting evolution ”, he pointed out.

The tennis player, who last year won two majors (Australia and Roland Garros) and lifted five trophies, is facing a momentous season that could mark a definitive turn in his career. His professional continuity or not may depend on what happens in the coming months. Bored of having to go through the infirmary over and over again, Nadal aspires to prolong his career because he still has the desire to compete and win, but he demands a regularity that he has not quite achieved. Over the past year he has suffered several physical mishaps and has just scratched out five appointments: Dubai, Doha, the Indian Wells Masters 1000 and Miami, as well as an exhibition that had been scheduled in Las Vegas for this Sunday.

route in the air

To the question about when he will return, he answers: “I don’t know if it will be in Monte Carlo, Barcelona or Madrid, but when I’m well I’ll be back. I feel like playing and when I’m ready, I’ll be right back.” If it evolves positively and there are no setbacks, his idea is to reappear in the Monte Carlo arena (from April 9) and then consider what is more or less convenient for him, knowing that Godó would be ahead of him (from April 17 to 23). , Madrid (May 26 to 7), Rome (from 10 to 21) and finally Roland Garros (from June 28 to 11).

Meanwhile, the Spaniard is losing his privileged position in the ATP list. Installed at number two at the end of the course, Nadal has descended to the eighth step and foreseeably will continue to fall; Specifically, the system will subtract the points obtained from the victory a year ago in Acapulco and those from the final reached in Indian Wells, which will erase him for the first time since April 2005 from the top-10which will establish its record of permanence in 912 weeks.

“I’d rather be there than not be, that’s evidence, but one has to accept things as they come,” he said. “With all the injuries that I have had during these 18 years, not having come out of there is a half miracle. Lately, a lot has happened: broken ribs, psoas, foot problems [izquierdo]… There are many things, and in tennis if you can’t play, you leave the top-10″, he extended before concluding: “In little more than a month the clay season arrives and we must try to add, but beyond that, the important thing for me is to feel that I am healthy and that when I have been playing a few games, I can feel that I am competing for what I want and fighting for the ultimate goal, which is Roland Garros”.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.