Rafael Nadal has attempted to allay fears over his fitness ahead of Roland Garros saying: 'I am not injured."
Nadal was clearly suffering a lot of pain in his foot during his Rome Masters defeat to Denis Shapovalov on Thursday.
It is the same foot that kept him out for much of last season and has been a problem for him throughout his career.
Despite him limping out in Rome, though, Nadal says it is simply something he is 'living with.'
“I had my foot again with a lot of pain, and that’s it,” Nadal said after Shapovalov's 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win.
“I am not injured. I am a player living with an injury. That’s it. [This] is nothing new. It’s something that is there.
“Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes.
“What can happen in the next couple of days, I don’t know. What can happen in one week, I really don’t know now. It’s the time to accept the situation and fight. That’s it.”
Rafael Nadal will be attempting to win a 14th French Open title, but with the Paris showpiece just nine days away it's less than ideal preparation. He, though, says he still sees plenty of reason for optimism.
“Since I came back, the foot has been tough,” Nadal said.
“It's tough for me to be able to practise the proper way days in a row. So then you need to move well to compete at the highest level, something that I am not able to practise.
“The toughest thing for me today is honestly I start to feel myself play much better. I started the match playing much better. My practice was much better, the warmup, than the other day.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?