September 19, 2011
The severity of Novak Djokovic's back injury is dependent on how you frame his recovery timetable. If you say he's out four weeks, that sounds serious. If you say he's going to take some time to rest before finishing up his season at the year-end events in Paris and London, it's not as bad.
Whichever way you look at it, the world No. 1 is battling an injury. He says he's been dealing with it since before the U.S. Open but exacerbated it during a Davis Cup match this last weekend:
"[The injury is] not as serious as we have thought," Djokovic told reporters Monday. "It's a partial rupture of a back muscle that deserves rest."
He said he may have to miss events in China next month but sounded prepared to play in the final Masters 1000 event of the year at the beginning of November in Paris, if not before.
"I hope I will recover by then," Djokovic said. "Anyway, I won't risk the worsening of the injury and that's why it is hard to predict for how long I will rest."
No need for Djokovic to rush. An undefeated run in Paris and London would put his season record at 74-3 and advance his case as having put together the greatest season in tennis history. Just as important, the Australian Open is less than four months away. Given his grinding summer schedule, Novak Djokovic could use the rest.