9/25/12 8:18 PM | Johan Lindahl
Rafael Nadal has expressed quiet resignation over his lengthy recovery from a left knee injury, with the former world No. 1 unable to put a date on a possible return to tennis.
The 26-year-old made a recent Madrid appearance for newest sponsor PokerStars to promote a "Rafa’s Dream Day," in which contest winners get the chance to travel to his home base of Mallorca and play poker against him.
With his ranking down to fourth and his last appearance on court coming three months ago in a Wimbledon second-round loss, the situation is currently looking far from promising for the Spaniard. In fact, Nadal can make no predictions about the date for a return to action.
While he harbors dreams of somehow playing in the eight-man year-end final in London starting November 5 and perhaps the Spanish Davis Cup final in the Czech Republic, those dates remain mere wishes. "All that is in my mind is to keep working hard to come back," said a sportsman whose athletic activities are now limited by doctors to some gentle rounds of golf.
"I cannot think about the future because it’s not like if you break your arm and you know you will have a few weeks like this, then a few weeks like that and then you are back," he told London's Daily Mail. "This is a day-by-day thing, I have checks every week to see how I’m improving. I can’t predict what will happen."
Nadal's mantra remains the same: he will not pick up a racquet on the ATP until he is fully ready no matter how long that might take. "The only thing is to recover well. I want to be 100 percent when I come back. I don’t want to keep playing every day with doubts, not knowing if my knee is going to answer all the questions."
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