Rafael Nadal has stressed he won't play again until 100 percent healthy. When that will be remains anyone's guess. (Getty Images)
Positivity? Obfuscation? "Your guess is as good as ours?" Assessing Nadal's injury situation these days is a lot like reading tea leaves that refuse to settle into the bottom of the cup. Rafa says he won't return until he's 100 percent, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says Rafa texted him to say he wanted the Australian Open to be his first tournament back, Rafa confirms for Abu Dhabi, and now Toni Nadal opens up the chance that Nadal could return in the next few weeks.
Earlier this week, Rafael Nadal announced his intention to play the exhibition in Abu Dhabi in late December, which would be his first tournament since he was forced off the ATP Tour with a knee injury in June. Now, speaking to Fox Sports Argentina, Nadal's coach and uncle Toni Nadal says his nephew is set to return to the practice courts in 15 days and there's a "small possibility" Rafa could play the World Tour Finals in London, which begin November 5th, and the Davis Cup final in Prague on November 16th.
Before people get their hopes up, it sounds like Uncle Toni built in enough caveats to make everyone throw up their hands in exasperation.
“The problem is we are at the end of the year and I don’t know if he can play this year, but if [everything works out] then he has the small possibility of playing London or the Davis Cup final, but it’s complicated."
I think this whole situation is best summarized by the following clip: