London - Knee injury victim Rafael Nadal has said he plans to return to tennis at the Australian Open in January, less than three months away.
The former world number one, who has not played in almost four months since losing a Wimbledon second-round match, told CNN International said that his recovery is going well, though slowly.
But he admitted that it was no longer possible for him to try to take back the number one ranking this season. Instead he is focussing on being ready when the Australia Open begins on January 14.
"I was hoping to regain the number one spot in 2012. Now, I'm happy to return at the Australian Open and be 100 percent competitive," said the fourth-ranked Spaniard.
He is unable to train hard enough to be ready for Spain's Davis Cup finals date on November 16-18 in Prague against the Czech Republic, he added.
"Everything is possible, but it is unlikely too," he said. "I don't know if I will or I won't, I need to work with much less intensity than required for the Masters Cup (November ATP season-ending event) or the final of the Davis Cup."