Rafael Nadal reveals what is keeping him from currently playing

Nadal spoke about this latest injury in a recent interview.
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Rafael Nadal has already implied 2024 might be his final year playing professional tennis. He may love the game, but financially there is likely no need to try to keep participating in tournaments. He has made quite a bit of money during his career and will continue to do so through sponsorships and other means. But while he might want to play more this year, his body is not allowing him to.

There have been health issues over the last several years, of course. In 2022, he suffered an abdominal pull at Wimbledon and he was not the same the rest of the season after that. Then to begin 2023, he hurt his hip at the Australian Open and after attempting to rehab the injury, he decided on surgery. He did not play against last year after the Australian Open.

Nadal's plan was seemingly to start fresh in 2024 and he did so by taking part in the Brisbane International. A few matches into that event, he aggravated his hip again and was forced to pull out of the tournament. He managed to return for the Netflix Slam, a one-match exhibition against Carlos Alcaraz, and he appeared relatively fit until the end of the match.

Rafael Nadal dealing with an abdominal concern currently

That exhibition now seems like a one-off event for him. One might assume that had he not made so much money to participate, Nadal would not have taken part. Of course, it probably is easier to commit to one match at a time instead of to an entire tournament which could mean several matches relatively close together.

There is still a chance that Rafael Nadal will return before the French Open in May and play in clay court events, the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Open. The latter is a Masters 1000 tournament. But every time Nadal seems on the cusp of playing, he withdraws. He just cannot be sure about how well his body will hold up.

Speaking with Movistar recently, Nadal revealed what his latest ailment is and the chances he will return soon. About his current injury, Nadal said, "I have abdominal problems since I returned from Australia. We are trying things. We are going day by day."

As far as when Nadal might return? That is anyone's guess and that anyone includes the Spanish great. Nadal said, "My body won’t let me. It’s getting difficult for me. It’s been a difficult year and a half, I’m trying every day. I have things to solve, and the reality is that at the moment I’m not being able to put myself in a position to compete. It’s hard...I don’t rule out anything, not even being in Barcelona or Madrid, but at the moment, I am not able to get there due to physical problems."

The hope from most tennis fans would probably be that Nadal only plays when he is healthy enough to play, but that maybe he can get back in time for the French Open and then make a run at that event. But that almost seems more like movie magic than reality. Still, we could all do with more magic.

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