Rafael Nadal: I don’t know when I’ll be back

Rafael Nadal made an appearance at Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey semifinal first-leg defeat to Barcelona on Thursday and made a heartbreaking admission when discussing his potential comeback.

“I do not know yet. I had a major breakdown in Australia and I don’t have a return date,” Rafa said. “It is taking me time and a lot of work to recover.”

“I am doing weekly check-ups,” Rafa also said at the Santiago Bernabeu. “We will have to see how I evolve, but I’m not here today, we’ll see. I am recovering. I do as much work as I can every day to recover as well as possible. I go day by day. I don’t know when I’ll be back, when I’m fine. And then we will have to have a little patience.

“I hurt my muscle, I tore a bit of my tendon in a very complicated place, the psoas, because in tennis we get strength from there. It is a slower evolution than we would like, but there is no choice but to be a little patient.”

Source: express.co.uk


  1. Does anyone here think it would be better if Rafa first played in 1-2 ATP 250 level tournaments before coming back to Masters? The way Alcaraz did earlier in South America. Might help with confidence and rhythm. But I’m not sure if there are any 250 tournaments in April/May.
    Vamos Rafa! Waiting for your comeback. 🙂

    • Abhishek, the 250 tournament in Estoril, which is on clay, begins on 3d April. Rafa knows what’s best for him and he may just be content with practicing at his academy leading up to Monte Carlo.

  2. As known to everybody, Nadal will drop out of top-10 next week for the very first time since breaking into this elite club way back in 2005. Most likely, Nadal would be relegated to around ATP #20 by the time he returns to action. Another big setback would be that Nadal would not get a bye in the first round due to his low ranking when he returns to action in ATP1000 Monte-Carlo. To win (or to reach the final of) Monte-Carlo upon his return to Tennis after injury, Nadal will need to play 6 matches in 8 days, which is a very high workload for any player returning after injury.

    Then, if he also plays ATP500 Barcelona after Monte-Carlo, he would again probably not get a bye in the first round (as Nadal would most likely be ranked below ATP #16) since the Barcelona draws would have been made before ATP rankings updates regardless of Nadal’s performance in Monte-Carlo. This means that Nadal would potentially play another 6 matches in 7 days at Barcelona. If there are some withdrawals of top-ranking players, Nadal can still get a bye in the first round if he is seeded within 16 at Barcelona in spite of being ranked lower than #16 in ATP ranking. In case Nadal gets a bye in the first round at Barcelona, he would potentially play 5 matches in 6 days to either win Barcelona or to reach the final.

    Assuming Nadal would have returned to top-8 by the end of Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, he would get first round bye at both ATP1000 Madrid and ATP1000 Rome. Then, he would potentially play 6 matches in 9 days to either win or reach the final at either of the events.

    In my opinion (and assuming his full recovery from the latest injury), he should first play ATP1000 Monte-Carlo. In case of a deep run at Monte-Carlo, Nadal should withdraw from ATP500 Barcelona. However, if he loses early in Monte-Carlo, he should play Barcelona.

    Regardless of the results in both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, Nadal should play both ATP1000 Madrid and ATP1000 Rome provided he stays healthy since he would have possibly earned enough points to get a first-round bye at both the events. At Madrid, Nadal has been losing early in the past. So, if the history repeats at Madrid, he can target a deeper run at ATP1000 Rome without having an extremely high workload.

    After the back-to-back Madrid and Rome, Nadal would get a rest of one week before starting his eventual campaign of defending the RG title.

    Your thoughts….!!!! ???

    • Don’t assume that Rafa will be able to play Monte Carlo. I hope he can play before the French Open.

      The only thing that really matters though is for Rafa to be healthy and pain free.

      • I agree David… I initially had counted Rafa out of Monte Carlo considering the news regarding his injury being a bit more severe than initially thought. And just a few days ago I read that Rafa is setting his sights on Monte Carlo… so who knows…
        Najam… you can theoretically come up with possible rankings…1st round byes…what tournaments he’ll play… it’s all conjecture… Rafa has to be fit…as David says “pain free” and mentally ready… Rafa is a creature of habit… Madrid is not his favorite but I think your point of how deep Rafa goes in a tournament will dictate whether he plays the next one back to back… I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa is “scheduled” to play all the clay court matches and then decides as he gets closer…. We have to hope his hip injury is fully healed/recovered and that he can play his game the way he wants to..full on attack…. My personal opinion is
        the days of watching Rafa play tennis at 50-75% of normal and his STILL beating his opponents is close to over…. He needs to be at 100% to have a fighting chance and we will only know that towards the end of the month….

        I’m encouraged when I see him practicing…I’m sure he’s gauging himself and not going overboard…. I miss him out there…. Saw in the past both in Miami… and I was at Indian Wells 2019 when he played Karen Khachavov and injured his knee… I held my breath at that match every time he continued to play… He miraculously beat Khach to go on to play Roger in the semi’s… but we all knew that unless there was a miracle overnight… Rafa was going to pull out of the tournament and not participate in the Rafa/Roger semi final which is exactly what happened….

        Let’s hope our he has some good news for us in the next 2 weeks…

    • Dang that was a lot to comprehend! I’m taking one day at a time with Rafa ….I think deep down we all know Rafa’s career is winding down… I know throughout Rafa’s career whenever he got injured everyone would speculate that he would have to retire… Rafa always proved everyone wrong and came back with a vengeance. This time it’s different… Rafa’s injuries are more intense and it’s taking longer and longer for him to heal. He will be 37 in June and in sports that’s getting up there! Also Rafa said he wanted a family but he would wait until he was done touring! With all that being said my gut feeling is that Rafa will win his 15th RG. I’ve been watching some tennis (without the same passion as with Rafa of course) I’m so impressed with Carlos, Taylor, Francis, Matteo Casper & Sinner … I call them the second wave next – gens. I love their respect & court side manners and they are so good! Next to Zverev Stefano Denis Shapo who have all smashed their racquets & pulled shenanigans. Rafa has made it through his elite career without smashing one racquet so he has set a high Standard ! There will never be another Rafa but the idiom “All good things must come to an end comes to mind… it is good to see such fine young players emerging & I know Rafa & Roger have been an inspiration to them. I will be waiting patiently to see Rafa again hopefully in Monte Carlo … can’t wait to see more of baby Rafael…what a cutie he is! Maybe Maria and Rafa will bring him to Roland Garros & let him watch his famous papa win his 15 RG! 🙏🙏❤️❤️Rafa!

      • Ps… I don’t want to leave out Felix… He is being coached by uncle Tony and you know he will never break a racquet. Just finished watching Carlos and Felix play in Indian Wells…What athletes both of them are… I am pretty sure both of them will be multi GS winers!

  3. We understand and want you to be 100% well, body and soul…Feel the love from this room ….We have your back Rafa…and we always will…❤️

    • Good to see your comment Marileena.. I somehow feel your comments are lucky for Rafa! Whenever I have ready your comments in the past, Rafa has usually done really well in the following period. 😀
      Vamos Rafa!

      • LOL That’s hysterical…. Awww…. I wish I was his lucky charm… The truth is (and I am sure many will agree with me ) the happiness that Rafa as a tennis athlete has given me and all his fans all these years with his grit and determination, his never giving up attitude, his focus and love of sport, the way he has matured from a teenager to a man and the “class” he shows on and off the court ….you cannot help but love him… And I guess I just want him to know that “we want” whatever “he wants” because he has already given us so much…And so, sending positive vibes across the Atlantic to Rafa… is all I want to do….

      • I am also a member of the Marileena fan club. The Margo fan club as well!

        Glad to hear that Rafa is out on the clay. Things are looking up.

      • David… that is so sweet… thank you…. and likewise…
        I just paid for my season tickets to the 2023 US Open and I can’t imagine it without Rafa…. I know he wants to be here and where there’s a will there’s a way… As we know this injury was worse than originally thought and therefore the recovery longer… Looks like Monte Carlo is not going to happen…. He’s going to need match play prior to the FO so hopefully Barcelona, Madrid and Rome will come to pass….
        It’s great seeing him practice on court, no? lol It keeps me very hopeful…

      • Correction…. Just heard Rafa’s goal is Roland Garros (no surprise) with his sights set on Monte Carlo…. Interesting, time will tell….

        VAMOS RAFA!!

  4. A tear takes longer to heal and we understand that, so no rush champ. We’re here for you whenever you’re ready.

  5. Rafa, for myself I will wait til the earths’ end for your return and am sure the other 900 million Rafans will do also.
    My Champion get well no matter how long it takes just be 100% well. God Bless you and keep you safe . Vamos

  6. We will wait as long as it takes. Take your time and get healed and we’ll to a 100%.

    Love you!

  7. Recover well and stay happy, Rafa. Cindy and I will miss you in IW. Look forward to seeing you in Paris. All the best always.❤️

  8. Tendon injuries do take time but people can recover well as Rafa will.

    Good to hear positive words from our young voter!

  9. Keep fighting and recovering, Rafa. Great to see you smiling and out and about. We all want to rediscover our lives, and reach a better balance. Tennis is missing you, and we
    wish you nothing but the best👏👍💪🤛🎾🍀❤️

  10. It’s ok rafa. Take your time. Your health and happiness is your top priority. I hope you won’t play in the Australian open anymore and reserve your energy for the rest of the season.
    You are getting injured far too often there.
    All the best champ.

  11. Really glad he is taking his time, of course I miss him and so do millions of others but we all want him to be well first and foremost!

  12. I am glad Rafa is not rushing it. Hopefully he will heal and be able to play again. All the best to Rafa.

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