Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, last played in January this year, where his Australian Open title defense came to an end in the second-round stage at the hands of Mackenzie McDonald. The Spaniard injured his psoas muscle and required surgery to repair the damage.
After exhausting all nonsurgical options and his condition getting significantly worse, he announced that he would go under the knife during an emotional press conference on the eve of the 2023 French Open. Nadal also revealed that he would miss the remainder of the season.
The Spaniard's operation in June was successful, and he embarked on preparing for the upcoming season, which he stated would be his last on the professional circuit. That decision has been revoked by his former coach Toni Nadal, and the 37-year-old has not ruled out playing beyond next year.
Courier, in a recent episode on the Inside-In podcast, is hoping Nadal's preparation and return goes to plan. The American explained how "one bad move" cost Roger Federer's career during his comeback from injury in 2021, and fears of a similar feat repeating itself.
"What you hope not to see is what happened to Roger (Federer). You know Roger really worked hard to get back and he was ready and then it was one bad move and one little slip and that was really the end of it for him."
Federer famously played his last match on tour at Wimbledon two years ago, losing in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz. And while the Tennis Channel pundit has his own reservations about Nadal's comeback, he would be delighted to see him on his beloved red clay at Roland Garros.
"Even then his (Federer's) greatness allowed him to get into the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. I just hope we don’t get that kind of scenario again. But any view of Rafa back on a court, especially at Roland Garros, would be welcome."