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

Talking points ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations match with ItalyTalking points ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations match with Italy

No containment plan to stop Grealish, insists Southampton boss HasenhuttlNo containment plan to stop Grealish, insists Southampton boss Hasenhuttl

Jones backs England to stand up to Ireland's aerial assaultJones backs England to stand up to Ireland's aerial assault

'We've made a hell of a lot of mistakes' - Aston Villa boss Smith wants team to improve focus and concentration'We've made a hell of a lot of mistakes' - Aston Villa boss Smith wants team to improve focus and concentration


Lifestyle

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

Sales of artisan sourdough bread are on the rise. It's all very well if you're happy to pay for a chewy substantial loaf but does it have any real health benefits? Áilín Quinlan talks to the expertsFlour power: The rise and rise of sourdough bread

More From The Irish Examiner