Rafael Nadal has apparently been struck by a virus for the third time in 2011 and it looks increasingly likely that the Spaniard will be under a cloud of doubt for the Abu Dhabi tournament which starts January 2. Should Rafa travel to Abu Dhabi, which is expected at this stage, it is unlikely that he will be a favourite due to recent fitness issues.
Last season Nadal started feeling off in the early 2011 exhibition tournaments and instead of resting he kept playing and his virus plagued him throughout the Australian Open. Viruses make athletes more likely to pick up injuries and sure enough Nadal limped away from Melbourne and it took him some weeks to get over his injuries and illness.
It also has emerged that the Spaniard is once again having trouble with his left shoulder – the shoulder has bothered him occasionally over the last 12 months. Nadal underwent treatment at a clinic in Barcelona last Friday before participating in some charity events.
When Nadal returned to Mallorca to resume training after his visit to Dr Angel Ruiz Cotorra the virus became a problem.
Nadal posted photos on Facebook of his Tuesday training session in Mallorca and has also spent some time practicing with good friend Carlos Moya leading up to Christmas.
Rafa’s uncle Toni has spoken briefly, saying, “The idea is to be present in Abu Dhabi.”
“There was something in his left shoulder. He felt it just before going to London.In Sevilla Rafael’s shoulder was fine. But he had to play Saturday and Sunday so I think he had some tendinitis of the patella (knee). But it is not an issue now.
We didn’t work on hitting or specific aspects of the game. We worked with the intention of recovering the intensity in the game – the key is to play well.”