MANACOR, Spain Aug 17 Rafa Nadal said he needs
to make a full recovery from a nagging knee problem before
returning to competition and hinted that his participation in
next month's Davis Cup tie against the United States was also in
The Spanish world number three has not played since crashing
out of Wimbledon in a shock second-round defeat by lowly ranked
Czech Lukas Rosol in June. He missed the Olympic Games and on
Wednesday he withdrew from the U.S. Open.
"The important thing is to recover well and come back when
my knee is a hundred percent perfect," Nadal told Reuters
television in an interview in his hometown of Manacor in
"We'll see if I will be ready for Gijon, for the Davis Cup.
My goal, my dream is to be there if the captain has confidence
in me, but it always depends on the captain and the knee."
Due to his aggressive style of play, Nadal has suffered a
string of physical problems during his career, including a foot
injury in 2005 and more recently with his knees.
He pulled out of the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup with
tendinitis, and a year later the same complaint led to him
missing the chance to defend his title at Wimbledon.
A knee injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian
Open in 2010 and in March of this year he had to pull out of a
semi-final clash with Andy Murray at the Sony Ericsson Open in
Miami due to a knee problem.
"The injury is not the same (as before)," he said.
"It is an injury that start around February before Indian
Wells. I played these months with some problems, like in Miami,
but normally I had the control of the pain, of the injury.
"But after Roland Garros the injury got worse and it was
impossible to continue competing, and of course the important
thing today is to recover as fast as possible after not arriving
in perfect conditions in Wimbledon.
"I am practising hard on the recovery with the physio in the
gym, to not lose my fitness, I am a few days outside of the
tennis court to try and recover faster."
Davis Cup holders Spain beat Austria 4-1 in April, without
Nadal, to set up next month's semi-final against the United
(Reporting by Carlos Herrera, writing by Mark Elkington in
Madrid, editing by xxxxxxxxx)