Some people think that Rafa is currently serving a secret suspension for failing a drug test. I hope it's not true but there are certain things which seem to give it validity. Rafa hasn't played a competitive match in over six months due to supposed knee problems yet he hasn't undergone any surgeries or operations to fix those issues. It's also suspicious how he bowed out of the Australian Open two weeks before the tournament started due to a "stomach virus". I'm no medical professional but I've never heard of a stomach virus that takes two weeks to recover from. There's something weird going on.
I just think he's waiting until clay court season to start playing again. I mean, that's definitely what he is doing. His first tournament will be a 250 event in Chile at the beginning of February. Then another 250 event a week later in Brazil, then a 500 level event in Mexico. All are on clay.
I've heard chatter about a secret suspension, but I'm not sure if I believe it.