Toni just gave an interview on Spanish radio. Said:
- Rafa's career is not in any danger. They are just being cautious.
- Rafa would like to play in Rio 2016 and hopes to compete there (again I suppose emphasising this is not some career ending injury). They all want to extend his career as much as possible and to do that they are taking the conservative approach -- "no more patches". (By this I think he is referring to earlier remarks he made about how this year they've just tried to manage injury in a piece meal way by taking time off in Miami etc. but that is not correct. He needs to wait till he is 100%.)
- It is not the same tendinitis as before, but is related to the same issue.
- Toni's been hearing that Nadal's career will be short all his life - but even if he retired now it would not have been a short career as he's played for a decade as a professional - since he was 16.
They also had some doctor on who said Nadal's tendon had degenerated and needed 3 months of rest. Given that he had most of June off, July and now August, maybe a DC return in September is not too far fetched...
Basically, as always, I think the "his career is over" brigade are going a bit far. If anything this sounds like he's learned from past mistakes and is following exactly what the doctors tell him to try and get the most from what remains of his career. Beating any of the other 3 - Andy, Roger, Nole - would have been tough at the US Open - let alone when not at full match fitness and without competitive play. If he was still suffering a bit, then better to be cautious - at this stage he needs to basically try and maximise slam chances.
As a reminder - think of the Nadal we saw at WTF 2011 - listless, passionless, bagelled by Federer. Next major tournament a few months later - few games away from winning the Australian Open. His body will always be an issue but the fire and motivation to me has been a bigger concern - at least that seems to still be there and perhaps be even stronger due to setbacks. Sounds like Rio 2016 might just be the think that keeps him going even if it seems farfetched right now that he'd be competitive in 4 years time.