Rafael Nadal is targeting a return to action at the Madrid Open in a fortnight’s time, according to his uncle Toni Nadal.
The Spaniard returned to the practice courts on Monday after a four-week layoff due to a stress fracture in his rib en route to reaching the Indian Wells final in March.
The injury has impacted his build-up towards the French Open, which starts on May 22, but he could yet compete in Madrid after missing events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
“Rafa told me he intends to play in Madrid,” his uncle Toni told Spanish channel RTVE.
“There are still two weeks left to see if everything evolves correctly. If he is fit, he will play.”
Nadal posted an update on Twitter on Monday, saying: “Today after four weeks without stepping on a tennis court, first light training. What an illusion to step on the earth again!”
Nadal is one Grand Slam ahead of rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, winning a 21st major at the start of the Australian Open.
Federer will miss Roland Garros, but defending champion Djokovic is aiming to level up the “GOAT” race with Nadal in Paris.
Nadal’s unbeaten start to 2022 was ended in the Indian Wells final on March 20, when he lost to Taylor Fritz before confirming his injury issues would rule him out for at least a few weeks.
He was forced to withdraw from the Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open, while the Madrid Open, which Nadal has won five times, starts on May 2.
The Italian Open in Rome starts a week later, the last major ATP event before Roland Garros, where Nadal is targeting a 14th triumph.