Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal resumed practicing on Tuesday but said he had not yet set a date for his return to the ATP tour after sustaining a knee injury that has prevented him from playing since the summer.
"We're taking it slow, cautiously, day to day, and we'll see if my body and, in particular, my knee can once again handle the load and I can compete as soon as possible, but always with patience and the certainty that things are going to go well," Nadal told reporters after his first practice session in months.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion began the summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he has not played since a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.
Nadal told Efe in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa's syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.
"Practicing little by little and finding the right time to return" is the plan right now, the 26-year-old tennis superstar said.
"My only date is today and it's going to be tomorrow, the one for training little by little, for following the work and recovery schedule," Nadal said.
The tennis star has decided to practice on the indoor court in Manacor, his hometown on the Mediterranean island of Majorca.
The Spaniard, known for his physically demanding style of play and incredible defensive skills, has struggled to stay healthy during his career, having been forced to withdraw from each of the four Grand Slam events due to various injuries. EFE