Rafael Nadal doctor sets weekend injury deadline to decide ATP Finals participation

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Rafael Nadal is expected to arrive in London on Wednesday and start practising on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal will make a decision on whether he is able to play at the ATP Finals by the weekend.

On Tuesday, Nadal announced he had sustained a right abdominal strain after practising his serve at the Paris Masters on Saturday.

With the ATP Finals starting on Sunday, the Spaniard is short on time to regain full fitness but he intends to travel to London today in a bid to be ready.

The draw for the season-ending tournament has been made and Nadal is currently scheduled to face defending champion Alexander Zverev on Monday evening.

Speaking in an interview with Spanish publication El Pais, Nadal’s long-time doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro revealed they will wait until Saturday or Sunday before deciding whether to play.

“We will complete all phases and wait until the end,” he said.

“For now we can go there and start training. Day by day will tell us the possibilities you have of playing.

“On Saturday or Sunday we will know.”

If Nadal decides to pull out, that would mean his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut will replace him in the tournament.

Agut is the first alternate with Gael Monfils the next in line.

There was some consolation for Nadal in that he did not suffer a more serious injury and Cotorro expressed his relief at what the scans showed.

“It is somehow a relief, yes,” Cotorro said.

“Because the fact that it is a relaxation is good news.

“In that sense we are happy, because if it had been a break it would have been complicated, since the deadlines we have are very small.

“There is a distension of muscle fibers, with small micro-fractures at the microscopic level, but there is no break that requires scarring.

“We simply need to distend that area. It is very little thing and we can recover it these days, although it is true that it was done on Saturday and will play on Monday, and every day counts.”

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