Injury forces Nadal withdrawal

Rafael Nadal’s long-awaited return from injury has been delayed further after he pulled out of this week’s exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi with a virus.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement on his Facebook page today, saying he was “very disappointed” to miss out after seven months on the sidelines with a left knee problem.

Nadal has not played since suffering his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon to unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol.

Despite the setback Nadal, 26, claimed he had recovered from his knee problem and that doctors had advised his withdrawal after a stomach infection had caused his illness.

“Everything was ready and I am eager to return to competition but the doctors have forbidden me from competing in Abu Dhabi due to a stomach infection that has left me with a fever,” Nadal wrote.

“My recovery has gone well – my knees are better – and I was eager to return to competition. I’m sorry for my fans in the Emirates and throughout the world. I hope to be there the coming year.

“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete in Abu Dhabi this year.”

Nadal had made a slower-than-expected recovery from his knee problems in the summer to delay his return.

The 26-year-old attempted to ease any concerns that this latest blow represented a further setback, saying his rehabilitation remained on course ahead of the start of the Australian Open on January 14.

“My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,” he said.

“Unfortunately doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus.”

More in this Section

No one could keep up with the absolute explosion of goals in Celtic v Manchester City

Six-goal thriller sees Celtic end Pep Guardiola's winning run

Brace from Theo Walcott in routine 2-0 Arsenal win against Basle

Jamie Vardy reveals he drank port the night before Premier League games during Leicester's title-winning 2015/16 season


Today's Stories

Theo Walcott wings in with a double as Arsenal delight in win over Basel

IOC reprimands Irish fighters for gambling in Rio

Theo Walcott wings in with a double as Arsenal delight in win over Basel

Paul O’Connell keeps it short and sweet, but European Ryder Cup team 'thoroughly inspired' nonetheless

Lifestyle

Space Week is an out of this world chance for families to experience the night sky

Wayfarers: A composition written as a response to the 1916 Rising

How to break up with dignity

Knights in shining armour: Irish full-contact medieval combat team set to showcase skills

More From The Irish Examiner