Rafael Nadal Injury: Updates on Star's Recovery from Appendix Surgery

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2014

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves after being defeated by Feliciano Lopez of Spain in their men's singles second round match at the Shanghai Masters Tennis Tournament in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal is already eyeing the new ATP Tour season and Australian Open success after his 2014 campaign was ended early by an appendectomy. The former world No. 1 is now on the recovery trail.

Continue for updates.

Wednesday, Dec. 3

Nadal Expects to be Firing at Australian Open

Spanish superstar Nadal is confident he will arrive in prime shape for the first Grand Slam event of 2015, according to quotes carried by the Daily Star:

What I have to do this month is to get myself fit physically, progress my tennis as much as possible and lay the foundations.

If I do good work at home and I play well at the start of the year, that could be enough to arrive in Australia well prepared.

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Nadal Announces Comeback Date

Former world No. 1 Nadal will return on Jan. 1, before hitting his first competitive ball two days later. He said, per Marca:

It's been two weeks since I had surgery on my appendix and I still have the odd stitch. I'll play in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of January and then I'll play in my first competitive tournament, from 3rd to 10th January in Doha, Qatar.

Tuesday, Nov. 11

Nadal to Have Stem Cell Treatment

Nadal's doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, has revealed efforts will be made to cure the Spaniard's back problems during his enforced layoff for appendix surgery. Ruiz-Cotorro told the Associated Press, via ESPN:

[Nadal] has a problem typical in tennis with a back joint, he had it at the Australian Open, and we have decided to treat it with stem cells.

When we have them we will put them in the point of pain [...] regenerating cartilage, in the midterm, and producing an anti-inflammatory effect.

Wednesday, Nov. 5

Nadal Out of Hospital

Rafael Nadal left hospital on Wednesday after undergoing an appendectomy.

Stuart Fraser of the Mail Online had the latest update:

Stuart Fraser @stu_fraser

Nadal leaves hospital in Barcelona: 'Everything went well. It was simple, ordinary surgery.' http://t.co/NosWFjovlD http://t.co/KrXUR7JDze

Monday, Nov. 3

Nadal Has Appendectomy 

As expected, world No. 3 Rafael Nadal underwent a successful appendectomy Monday morning in Barcelona, ​​the Spaniard's public relations team Told Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Per his PR, Rafael Nadal underwent an laparoscopic appendectomy today in Barcelona.

"Thanks for all your support! On my way to the operation room for a small surgery," Nadal wrote in a Facebook message, which had a photo of the 14-time Grand Slam champion as he was going in for the procedure.   

Nadal, 28, was diagnosed with appendicitis at the Shanghai Masters in October. Though he was initially placed on antibiotics in hopes of a non-surgical outcome, doctors later felt that surgery was necessary. After losing to Borna Coric at the Swiss Indoors, Nadal announced that he would miss the remainder of the 2014 season to undergo the appendectomy.

"I'm not going to Paris and London-I'm not competitive enough," Nadal told reporters. "I am going to have surgery on 3 November."

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Nadal of Spain tie his hand band during his match against during day 4 of the Shanghai Rolex Masters at Zi Zhong stadium on October 8, 2014 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
Kevin Lee/Getty Images

The nine-time French Open champion finishes the 2014 calendar with four victories, though none have come since his Roland Garros triumph over Novak Djokovic. He was unable to defend his U.S. Open championship due to a wrist injury.

Djokovic, who won his second Wimbledon crown in 2014, has opened up a sizeable lead over Nadal—his closest rival on a per-match basis the last couple seasons. The Serb will likely enter 2015 as the favorite to extend his advantage over Nadal at the Australian Open, where he has won three of the last four years.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter