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Nadal refuses to let twisted ankle slow him down at Miami Open: 'I'll be ready'

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves to Milos Raonic, of Canada, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 20, 2015 in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves to Milos Raonic, of Canada, during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 20, 2015 in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Rafael Nadal expects to compete at the Miami Open this week despite turning his left ankle in practice on Monday.

Nadal has a bye and isn't scheduled to play until a second-round match on Friday. The third-ranked Nadal will play the winner of the match between Nicolás Almagro of Spain and Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.

"It's for sure I'm going to be on court on Friday," said Nadal on Tuesday. "The thing is, I don't know how well I'm going to be prepared for then. I hope to be ready. It's an important tournament for me."

Nadal, who has reached four Miami finals but never held the trophy, initially thought the ankle injury might keep him from playing.

"In the beginning, I thought that was going to be the end of the tournament," Nadal said. "I am confident I'm going to be ready."

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Nadal spent more than an hour practicing on Tuesday, even with his ankle bothering him. He consulted with his personal trainer as well as ATP trainers, who agreed the injury wasn't severe and didn't require an MRI or X-ray.

"I feel pain," Nadal said. "It's obviously normal. I was a little bit limited today, but I was able to practice one-hour-and-a-half, which is more than I expected yesterday when it happened."

Nadal missed most of the second half of 2014 with injuries. He was out after Wimbledon because of a right wrist injury until the end of September. He played in Beijing and Shanghai before appendicitis ended his year. He had surgery in early November.

Nadal, who won his 65th career title in Buenos Aires in February, arrived in Miami after a quarterfinal showing at Indian Wells last week.

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