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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Former world number four Juan Martin Del Potro, having drawn confidence from his brief Sydney return in January, said on Monday he was confident of a full comeback “very soon”.
The Argentine giant, who has endured a stop-start career since winning the U.S. Open in 2009, is recovering from a second corrective operation on his left wrist following surgery a year ago.
“I’m not going drop my arms or surrender because of an injury. If my hand responds well, I’ll come back as soon as possible but that depends exclusively on my hand, it will decide my return,” Del Potro told a packed news conference.
“I’m in full recovery, I’m going faster than the time frame the doctor set for me as a goal and that has me enthused and that’s why I believe my return will be very soon,” he said at a sponsorship presentation in Buenos Aires.
The 26-year-old, who missed most of the 2010 season after surgery on his right wrist, also confirmed an improved relationship with the Argentine Tennis Association (AAT) and a return to his country’s Davis Cup team.
Del Potro said he and his friend, U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic who is nursing an arm injury, had entered their names as a doubles team for Indian Wells next week essentially to comply with the formality in case they feel fit enough.
He added, however, that it was more realistic to think of a return in Miami from March 25.
The 1.98-metre known as the Tower of Tandil, his home town in Buenos Aires province, said he had been practicing with the Davis Cup team who face Brazil in a world group first round tie at home this weekend.
"It’s very hard to live with injuries, I would have trouble getting up some days. For a year now the first thing I’ve been doing after waking up is move my fingers.”
Del Potro said his ultimately premature comeback in Sydney in January, when he still felt pain with his two-handed backhand, had helped his confidence immensely.
“The reception I got in Sydney made me feel fans had not forgotten me,” del Potro said.
"It charged me with the energy to take the decision to go and see the doctor again losing no more time because I felt that if I recovered my physical condition I would rediscover my game and I don’t care how long it takes."
Additional reporting by Luis Ampuero, editing by Pritha Sarkar