Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Rafael Nadal - Toni Speaks About Injury

By Tom Pilcher

LONDON (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal came through a training session on a slippery Wimbledon practice court unscathed on Tuesday with his coach saying the world number one will have shaken off a foot injury in time for his quarter-final against Mardy Fish.

Nadal hurt his left foot toward the end of the first set of Monday's four-set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro and needed almost 10 minutes of courtside treatment from a physio and doctor.

A scan earlier on Tuesday revealed no major damage.

"If the world didn't sleep easy because Rafa has a problem it would be the most crazy thing ever," joked the Spaniard's coach and uncle Toni Nadal after the defending champion's hitting session with British junior Evan Hoyt.

"A guy said to me once 'We're worried about Rafa'. I said 'Don't worry about him, worry about yourself'.

"Yesterday he had a problem. Things don't disappear magically but tomorrow he'll be in a condition to play."

Asked if he thought his charge would be at his usual full fitness for Wednesday's match, a daunting proposition for American number one Fish, uncle Nadal was not giving anything away.

"100 percent. What do you want me to say? If he was at 50 percent I'd still say he was at 100," he told reporters with a smile.

"He couldn't move a lot because the court was slippery so it was dangerous, but all is well."


Nadal said after his grueling match with Del Potro that he thought he would "have to retire" and that he had broken his foot but the signs were all positive from his camp.

"There were no bone or ligament injuries. We think he will be alright tomorrow," Spanish Tennis Federation official Ignago Munoz told reporters. "It will be no risk."

Nadal reserved the occasional grimace for poor shots during his session under murky grey skies but had no problems moving around the court as 1987 champion Pat Cash and multiple doubles winners Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge looked on.

The hoards of fans crammed up against the green fence cheered as Nadal grinned in their direction but the happiest person in the complex was undoubtedly Hoyt.

"He's my idol," said the starstruck 16-year-old from Wales, who had Nadal's pre-printed autograph on his bag.

"My sister got his autograph on a ball this week," he added before revealing the words of encouragement from the 10-times grand slam champion.

"He said: 'In two years you have to be in the main draw of Wimbledon'."

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)

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