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MAJORCA, Spain: Spaniard Rafa Nadal is keeping his expectations low ahead of his long-awaited return to competitive action in early February after seven months out of tennis with a knee injury.
The 26-year-old French Open champion has not played since losing to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June due to a partial tear of the patella tendon and inflammation in his left knee.
His planned return at the end of last year was delayed due to illness and he is scheduled to play on his favoured clay at three events next month, starting in Vina del Mar, Chile, on February 4 and taking in the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo from February 11 and the Mexico Open in Acapulco from February 25.
“Well I am going to play (after) a long time in a tennis tournament, professional tennis tournament, after seven months,” Nadal told reporters yesterday.
“The motivation, the illusion is big, so very happy to be back in the competition but just you know, with patience to know how the knee will answer after a long time without the top level.The most important thing for me is the knee...that I can support the pain of the knee and then if I am able to play these three tournaments.”