It really does sound serious for Rafa. It just makes you wonder. It strikes me that he has been out of the game since late June, the second round of Wimbledon. Surely even when he comes back it will take him a while to be playing his best again.
I'm wondering what impact, if any, coming back as four in the world will have too. I can't see Rafa liking that one bit. I'm just thinking that Djokovic doing so well last year shook Rafa up. Now things have shifted again, with Andy making his moves. If Nadal comes back and doesn't get back to full flow immediately, which is what you could expect, his life on the court could become pretty uncomfortable.
Good points, TJ, and ones that I agree with. Also how long before his knee(s) begin to cause more problems? Once these things start, and Nadal's had problems for some years now, they're very likely to flare up again. I truly can't see him only playing on clay or grass. That would just be bizarre - and what would he do for the rest of the time? Get a part-time job?
I was a bit horrified when I read that Andy was taking pain-killers as a preventative measure. If hard courts are so bad for player's bodies, then why have they been playing on them for so long? Although like you I'm not objecting because it's the surface Andy does best on. I'm convinced Djokovic is made from rubber the way he slides around on them!