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Nadal Receives Sporting Excellence Award

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal received the 2013 sporting excellence award at the 66th Mundo Deportivo Gala in Barcelona on Monday night. Nadal was honoured for his remarkable comeback to the ATP World Tour in 2013, which saw him reclaim No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, win two Grand Slam titles and claim five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.

Held at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, the newspaper awards were voted for by a panel of judges, presided over by the Spanish Secretary of State for Sport, Miguel Cardenal.

It is the third time Nadal has received the honour, following awards in 2007 and 2008. He is the fifth Spanish sportsman to win the award three times, emulating Manuel Santana, golfer Seve Ballesteros, athlete Jose Luis Gonzalez and cyclist Miguel Indurain. 

The 27-year-old Nadal is currently recuperating from the back injury he sustained in the Australian Open final against Stanislas Wawrinka, but is hopeful of a return at next week's Copa Claro in Buenos Aires.

"I had another check-up on Monday and have followed the same treatment plan since returning from Melbourne," said Nadal. "I haven't been on the court or done any type of exercise yet, I've just been resting and trying to do the right rehabilitation to be able to return to the court as soon as possible. 

"My hope is to be able to practise again on Thursday. I'll train on Thursday and Friday and see how it feels. Based on that and the opinion of my doctors, we will decide if I can return in Buenos Aires or if we will have to wait for the next tournament."

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