Rafael Nadal: Why Rafa's Injuries Will Be Major Concern Heading into 2013

Justin WeltonAnalyst IISeptember 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Sometimes the whole world can come crashing down following a injury. There have been several athletes in many sports who always get this said about them: "Player X hasn't been the same since his or her injury."

Could that happen to Rafael Nadal? It may not happen, but it's definitely a major concern heading into the 2013 campaign.

Here are three reasons why:




Nadal isn't considered a spring chicken anymore in tennis. In 2009, when Nadal took some time off, he appeared to be stronger when he made his return. At age 26, Nadal is coming close to reaching the point in which he begins to slow down with his Grand Slam and overall victories. 

If this was any other sport, he would be in the prime of his career. Not in tennis. 

Will the injury push him closer to that point? Only time will tell, but it's something to keep in mind for next year and beyond. 



Injury could be damaging to overall brand of tennis

Tennis is worse when the top stars aren't competing for Grand Slams. I don't want to see the No. 7 player play the No. 9 player in the final. Give me something that I should care about in the grand scheme of things.

As of now, Nadal has no timetable for his return, according to the Associated Press. What if his knees take longer than expected to heal? What if he isn't ready for the 2012 Australian Open?

While both are questions that will be answered in the near future, they are still major concerns, as of now, for the overall brand of tennis.

Tennis is extremely lucky to not just have one or two but three superstars who will go down as some of the best players to ever grace a tennis court.

Not having one of those three players on the court will damage the remembrance of this era. 



Nadal's Legacy could take slight hit

Nadal will go down as the greatest clay court player when his career is over. However, some say that he has an opportunity to be the best player ever to play the sport of tennis. That thought will be squashed if he fails to return to top form. 

Nadal has won 11 Grand Slam titles compared to Roger Federer's 17, for example. At age 26, there is still time for Nadal to win a few more titles, but what if he doesn't come back at 100 percent?

You could forget about him even being close.

In the end, Nadal will most likely return from his injury at full strength. But one can't wonder that if he struggles to win Grand Slams, if the injury had an impact on his career. It's just the common thought. 

Only time will tell.