Rafael Nadal will listen to his doctors and his body when he decides on his return to competitive tennis.
A recent phone interview with TVE (translated by Fox News Latino) conducted by his coach and uncle Toni Nadal suggested that Nadal could return to play for Spain in the Davis Cup against the United States:
There's a month to go and we hope he's fine, if not technically then at least physically. After Wimbledon, we decided to rest a few days and then move on to strengthening the quadriceps but that's was a struggle
Later we managed to strengthen a bit, but at the end of the training sessions that pain continued and the recovery was not sufficient to deal with a competition as tough as the U.S. Open and the rest of the season. Now we're training normally but it's not the same as competing for four hours in a tournament.
Nadal also spoke (via NBC Sports) on his hopes of playing in the Davis Cup but conceded that if it weren't in the best interests of his health, he would hold back:
If (my knee) is well in time for the Davis Cup and the captain wants me, I will be happy to be there," he said. It would be exciting for me and a great moment to return. If not, then I will have to wait a little longer.
At this stage in my career my ranking is of the least importance. The most important thing is that I am sure I am fit to compete like I did during the first six months of this year, with a solid chance to win in each tournament I enter.
After being almost eight years ranked either first or second, I think that being ranked second or fourth or sixth doesn't really change anything.
I have to listen (to the doctors) and be patient, and I will come back when my knee is well. The best thing I can do now is to stop, get fully well, accept the situation and work hard to come back better.
His place in the big four is, of course, still safe, and he will no doubt go down as one of tennis' greats, but none of that will cull his competitiveness. He is sure to continue striving to win and to be the best he can be.
It may not seem like there are any positives from his current situation, but if his recent interviews are to be believed, then his more considered approach towards his health may well be the catalyst for a return to play, his top form and winning ways.