Rafael Nadal has received a massive boost in his race to be fit for the ATP World Tour Finals in London after his latest scans showed no further setback to a long-standing knee injury.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner had to withdraw from the Paris Masters after feeling a recurrence of the injury which put his participation in massive doubt. He was given a bye through to the second round in the French capital and later defeated South Korea's Hyeon Chung in straight sets to ensure he will finish the year ahead of long-time rival Roger Federer as the men's world number one.
Nadal was hoping to triumph in Paris to move one clear of Novak Djokovic and claim his 31st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. He battled to a four-set victory over Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in the the Round of 16 on Thursday (2 November) and was due to take on Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the quarter-finals on Friday (3 November), but instead called a press conference to confirm that he would not be able to continue in the tournament.
However, his doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro has given hope to his fans by saying that he will put the 31-year-old on a rehabilitation programme which should be enough to get him fit for 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, as quoted by the Independent. "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," Cotorro explained.
"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."