Rafael Nadal’s 2012 season ended both prematurely and on a bit of a down note.
He had a strong start to the season, making it all the way to the Australian Open final for the second time in his career, in which he lost quite possibly the most memorable match of 2012 against Novak Djokovic.
He followed that with his usual strong clay season, in which he broke Djokovic’s streak of seven consecutive victories in the rivalry and started a streak of his own, which currently stands at three with wins at Monte-Carlo, Rome and Roland Garros. A few weeks after capturing his seventh crown in eight years in Paris, Nadal returned to the hallowed halls of Wimbledon, looking to win his third title.
His campaign ended, however, in a shocking and abrupt manner, being knocked out by unknown Lukas Rosol in the second round in five sets.
Nadal has not played since, after a knee injury that has bothered him throughout his career forced him out of the Olympic Games—where he was going to be Spain’s flag bearer—and subsequent tournaments.
Here are five predictions for his return.