Rafael Nadal could be fit to feature at the ATP World Tour Finals in London after scans showed no new damage to a long-standing knee injury, his doctor has revealed.
The world number one, Nadal, who has earlier this week sealed his place at the top of the year-end rankings.
It is the second time in a few weeks that the Spaniard has withdrawn from a tournament with the ailment, following his decision not to play in the tournament in Basel, and his doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro says the tendon injury is in no worse state than previously.
Cotorro will now put the 31-year-old on a rehabilitation programme which gives him the best chance of making London, a tournament Nadal has never won.
“It is not a new injury or an injury that has worsened,” Cotorro said in Spanish newspaper El Espanol. “It’s not a different situation than when we came from the Asian tour. All the images of the tests tell us that it is a bit the same, that the tendon is suffering.
“It’s a tough year, a season with many games. The tendon is suffering, but the images do not show us anything different either. The first thing was to stop and assess how the knee was, if something new had happened.
“Now we know that there is nothing different, which is a situation that had been dragging on for some time. The problem of tendons in different situations may bother more or less, but we will try to be good to play in London. If he is well, he will play, and if he is not well, he will give up playing. You have to see how it evolves these days.”
Tournament organisers will be desperate for Nadal to be fit at the O2, having already seen a host of the sport’s leading names miss out through injury.
Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are all missing having been present last year and organisers will have been banking on old rivals Nadal and Roger Federer – the two standout players of the season – again going head-to-head.
Federer skipped the Paris Masters in order to protect a back injury that has also caused him problems at the back end of the year and will be present at the Tour Finals, which start next Sunday.
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