• ATP Tour

Nadal still has injury concerns

ESPN staff
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Rafael Nadal will have plenty of support when he does return to action © PA Photos
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Rafael Nadal has admitted he is worried about how his knee will respond to the rigours of competitive tennis.

Nadal has not played a match in anger since his shock loss at Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June, with the former world No. 1 forced to take an extended break to nurse a knee injury.

He is due to play at the Mubadala Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi at the end of December, which he hopes will be a stepping stone towards the Australian Open.

Nadal's doctors have given him the green light to return, but the Spaniard still has nagging doubts about whether his knee will stand up to hammering it will take on court.

"I have my doubts," Nadal told Canal Plus. "It's normal. We are talking about a knee, so of course I am afraid to see how it is going respond.

"But I can only trust my doctors and believe in myself and that everything will be all right."

The 11-time grand slam champion is likely to tailor his schedule, with the aim being to be in peak condition for the defence of his French Open crown.

"I'm prepared to accept that at the start my knee might not respond well and I may have to take it easy, mixing periods of play and rest for the first three months," he said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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