In terms of the draw, the 2009 champion takes on 56th-ranked Serbian Laslo Djere on Tuesday, ahead of a potentially troublesome third round against Sunday’s Murray River Open champion Dan Evans.
Familiar foe Fabio Fognini (fourth round) and either of Russia’s ATP Cup champions Andrey Rublev or Daniil Medvedev (quarter-finals) might be looking too far ahead. For now, Nadal is fully focused on his opening encounter, desperately seeking more time to recover.
“Is not a drama. These kind of things can happen. Happened to me in the past,” said the Spaniard hoping to harness all his experience in adversity, who last month passed 800 consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
“The only thing that I can do is stay positive, work on the recover, do all the things that I can, then hope the situation will be improving. Is not an important injury but is a thing that stays here for a lot of days. Of course, it worries me a little bit.”
Back in October the world No.2 tied his close friend Roger Federer on top of the men’s Roll of Honour on 20 Grand Slams.
Could Nadal break clear at Melbourne Park?
For now, he has far more pressing issues ahead of his Tuesday start.