SHANGHAI, China -- Rafael Nadal's 2014 season is in question after he felt abdominal pain over the weekend and was diagnosed with appendicitis. Nadal, who was sidelined for the last three months with a right wrist injury, told reporters at the Shanghai Rolex Masters that aside from going to the hospital on Sunday, he had not left his hotel room until Tuesday, when he arrived on site in the late evening for a short practice. After 45 minutes of hitting, Nadal decided he would try to play the tournament, where he faces off against Feliciano Lopez in his first match on Wednesday evening.
"I had tough three days since I arrived here," Nadal said. "My thought now is [I'm] going to try to play tomorrow, yes. I have to wait about how my night goes, how I wake up tomorrow morning."
Nadal played three matches in his first tournament since Wimbledon last week at the China Open, losing in the quarterfinals to Martin Klizan on Friday. He arrived to Shanghai on Saturday and began to feel pain in his abdomen that evening. Unable to sleep through the night, a doctor was called on Sunday morning. He advised him to go to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment. At the hospital he was diagnosed with appendicitis and given two options: surgery or aggressive treatment with antibiotics. Nadal opted for the latter.
"They told me that sometimes that can work and we can avoid the surgery," Nadal said. "That's what I did. I was in the hospital on Sunday. Yesterday the nurse came to my room to put me again the treatment. Today I was in the hospital in the morning again. I did again the antibiotic. Seems like everything is under control now."
Whether Nadal will undergo surgery when he returns back to Spain after the tournament is up in the air. The doctor in Shanghai told Nadal that he has to have the surgery sooner or later, but Nadal hasn't thought that far ahead. "My idea is take it out, but you can imagine that I didn't [think] much about that yet," Nadal said. "I am here in Shanghai, no? I just want to try. Then when I come back home, I will see the situation with my doctor."
Nadal says he's not 100 percent and still feels some pain, but assuming he feels better on Wednesday he will take the court. "I am here to play a tournament," Nadal said. "If there is no risk for getting worse, is the same [to] lose [than] if you don't play. If I don't play, I don't have the possibility to win. So that's it."