Maybe something else : did it happen because he tried to change his forehand ?
Please no!! He doesn't need any reason to stop working on a "new" forehand. Richard has had the elbow problem on and off for at least several years and on and off since Roland Garros this year. He missed Bercy a few years ago because of elbow.
Sometimes joint injuries are just a chronic thing and players just have to "live" with it. But sometimes surgery can fix the problem. I know no one wants to have surgery if it can be avoided but MAYBE if his elbow problem is one that can be fixed with surgery he should bite the bullet and just do it instead of wondering when it is going to flare up again and again.
Anyway I know he's very frustrated and I hope he can FULLY recover soon. I don't expect he'll play till 2012 - why play Bercy after no matches since Metz?