KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami/AP) – One of tennis’ brightest stars is going to participate in South Florida despite suffering an injury.READ MORE: Florida House Panel Backs Proposal Limiting Ballot Initiatives
Rafael Nadal expects to compete at the Miami Open this week despite turning his left ankle in practice on Monday.
Nadal has a bye and isn’t scheduled to play until a second-round match on Friday. The third-ranked Nadal will play the winner of the match between Nicolas Almagro of Spainand Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.
“It’s for sure I’m going to be on court on Friday,” said Nadal on Tuesday. “The thing is, I don’t know how well I’m going to be prepared for then. I hope to be ready. It’s an important tournament for me.”
Nadal, who has reached four Miami finals but never held the trophy, initially thought the ankle injury might keep him from playing.READ MORE: Driver In Wilton Manors Hit And Run That Killed Two Children Pleaded Not Guilty
“In the beginning, I thought that was going to be the end of the tournament,” Nadal said. “I am confident I’m going to be ready.”
Nadal spent more than an hour practicing on Tuesday, even with his ankle bothering him. He consulted with his personal trainer as well as ATP trainers, who agreed the injury wasn’t severe and didn’t require an MRI or X-ray.
“I feel pain,” Nadal said. “It’s obviously normal. I was a little bit limited today, but I was able to practice one-hour-and-a-half, which is more than I expected yesterday when it happened.”
Nadal missed most of the second half of 2014 with injuries. He was out after Wimbledon because of a right wrist injury until the end of September. He played in Beijing and Shanghai before appendicitis ended his year. He had surgery in early November.
Nadal, who won his 65th career title in Buenos Aires in February, arrived in Miami after a quarterfinal showing at Indian Wells last week.MORE NEWS: Florida Lawmakers Tie National Anthem to Sports Money
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