Grand Slam legend Rafael Nadal is right on track to make a comeback from injury at the Madrid Open next month. 

In an exclusive interview with Spanish channel RTVE, his uncle and former coach Toni Nadal said that Rafael still has plenty of time left to make a full recovery for Madrid. 

“Rafa told me he intends to play in Madrid. There are still two weeks left to see if everything evolves correctly. If he is fit, he will play,” his Uncle Toni said. 

Fans can recall that the 21-time Slam champion announced that he would be out of action for more than a month after losing to Taylor Fritz at Indian Wells in March. 

Although there were high hopes that he would play at the Barcelona Open, he was unable to defend his trophy but provided a progress report on Monday to reveal the status of the stress fracture to his rib.

“Today’s first gentle workout after four weeks without stepping on a tennis court. What excitement to step onto clay again,” Nadal wrote on Twitter. 

Nadal still leads ATP Race to Turin

Nadal started the year on a 20-match winning streak, highlighted by titles in Melbourne, Australia and Acapulco, before losing to Fritz twice. 

Regardless of his absence, the 35-year-old still leads the ATP Race to Turin as of press time with 3,350 points, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas at 2,440 points, and Spanish compatriot Carlos Alcaraz with 1,960 points. Completing the top five are Russian Daniil Medvedev with 1,900 points and Fritz, who has 1,745 points. 

Star-studded Madrid Open

An intense competition will welcome Nadal in this year’s Madrid Open. Among the names likely to compete this year include world number one Novak Djokovic, defending champion Alexander Zverev, Alcaraz and Tsitsipas. 

Nadal is a five-time champion in Madrid, but he last won the title in 2017 after defeating Dominic Thiem in the final. In last year’s event, he lost in the quarterfinal to eventual champion Zverev. 

The upcoming Madrid open will also have Andy Murray back in action. The two-time champion will receive a wild card for the ATP Masters 1000 event slated from May 1 to 8.