By Iain Rogers
MADRID (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal's recovery from tendonitis in both knees
appears to be progressing so well that he could be back at peak fitness
for the U.S. Open, according to a sports injury specialist at the
University of California.
"Nadal is a younger player so he certainly has a bigger capacity to
heal," said Anthony Luke, an associate professor and director in Primary
Care Sports Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
"He's definitely competitive which is a great sign," he added. "I do
think he has a chance to be at his peak at the U.S. Open and his rhythm
and performance should continue to improve as long as the knee doesn't
give any setbacks."
"Rafael Nadal is pure power and plays the game at 100 percent intensity
so each match he is putting so much more pressure on his tendons," Luke
"In his favor are his athleticism and his conditioning, which are
outstanding. If anyone can come back from something like this it's a guy
"He's obviously very motivated and disciplined with his training and
this will help in the healing process."
In very serious cases, surgery would be attempted to strip away scar
tissue on the tendon, but Nadal's reasonably rapid recovery without the
need to go under the knife suggested his problems were not especially
serious, Luke said.
The best-of-five sets matches at the U.S. Open will present an
additional challenge to Nadal's recovery and he remained cautious after
the Cincinnati event.
"We will see how I am physically to play the five set matches," he said.
"I know when I am playing well I can play at this level. But you only
can win against these top players when you are playing your best tennis."