Rafael Nadal will not be returning to competitive tennis as soon as he’d planned after all…
The 26-year-old Spanish tenista was scheduled to compete in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee.
But Nadal said on his Facebook page Tuesday that his doctors ordered him to pull out due to a stomach virus and fever, telling him his body needed rest.
“My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,” said Nadal.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.
The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold at the 2012 London Games, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray were also scheduled to play at Abu Dhabi.