I think people are overreacting a bit. He's said he always plays in pain - clearly he won't be totally discomfort free. He played through pain much of the last clay season - had knee issues from IW onwards yet was still able to compete. So this doesn't mean he's not playing Chile or not coming back. Just that though he's a lot better than before he still doesn't know how the knee will do in matches and how long it will take him to get to top conditions.
Toni said he's playing at a good level - not his best but it is okay - he won some practice sets off Robredo in Barcelona last week. He doesn't know if he'll get to the right level by Acapulco, IW, MIami or even Monte Carlo - case of wait and see.
On another note - he's apparently signed up to play doubles with Nalbandian in Sao Paolo
Video of today's practice:
Asho Nadal played through pain last year BECAUSE of the knee fat pad issue. the whole point of his hugely long delayed coming back to tour was to work as a solution for his knee to heal and STOP hurting rather than can get surgery to remove the fat pad (surgery is quite unpredictable obviously)
can't say like for sure if the dude's going to feel pain still or not, but him and his team made it very clear that doctors indicated for the knee to stop being painful he needed to stop using it extremely for a while. it seems illogical that his knee would still be in pain after so long
however, I wouldn't be totally shocked if BAM in a few months the same problem arrises again
I totally agree it's a a wait and see sorta thing! like wait and see if those cupcakes are getting solid in the oven
that is crazy he's doing doubles with Nalbandian too! I think if anything that shows that he's confident the bodys back to norm and that he just needs to regain traction as far as remembering how to play on tour, the confidence, ETC