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

Louis Van Gaal adamant he is staying at Manchester United

Team Sky rider claims breakthrough win at the Tour de Yorkshire but TV missed it

5 things we learned from the Football League this weekend

Barcelona stay top, JUST, with win over 10-man Betis


You might also like

Today's Stories

Willie Walsh Interview: A hurling crusader

Kevin Keegan: Fergie and Wenger got on my wick

Sean Hayes Q&A: ‘Everyone gets a great kick out of seeing a fella who hasn’t made it as a Cork minor’

Fans relieved as Munster finally lift the gloom

Lifestyle

European design is flourishing in Aoife Hayes’ store in Newcastle West

Landscape gardener and designer, Olive Ryan, gives a masterclass on how to give your garden the ultimate makeover

Here's a taste of what’s to come at the Litfest HQ in Ballymaloe Cookery School, Cork

From Captain Kirk to the face of Armani – how Chris Pine made it to the A-list

More From The Irish Examiner