Rafael Nadal's knee could be issue for weeks

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VINA DEL MAR, CHILE — Rafael Nadal’s ailing left knee might still bother him for a few more weeks, his coach said Monday.

Nadal practiced for 90 minutes with Nicolas Massu of Chile on Monday, his fourth day in a row of training since arriving in the country for his first match in more than seven months.

Nadal opens up today in the VTR Open, playing doubles with Argentina’s Juan Monaco. On Wednesday, he will play singles.

“The knee is much better, but they’ve told us he will feel some discomfort and lack of mobility until the end of the month,” said Toni Nadal, the seven-time French Open champion’s coach and uncle. “But it’s definitely getting better.”

Nadal has avoided surgery so far, getting therapy in hopes of speeding healing. But the slow recovery from the inflamed knee means he has been trying to lower expectations as he uses three Latin American clay-court tournaments to prepare for a run at an eighth French Open title.

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