Madrid - Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya has indicated the world No 1 is targeting a return from injury next month at the Paris Masters.
Nadal has not played a match since retiring from the US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro three weeks ago, due to a problem in his right knee.
After missing Spain's Davis Cup semi-final defeat by France, Nadal then announced his withdrawal from tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai.
But Moya, who has coached Nadal since 2016, believes his player may be ready in time for the Paris Masters, which runs from October 29 to November 4. After that, the ATP Finals in London begins on November 11.
"We do not have deadlines, if everything goes well and everything is in order, we understand that he may be fine for Paris-Bercy," Moya told Television Espanola on Friday.
"If it's not Paris, it will be London and if not, then next year."
Nadal's absence leaves his position at the top of the world rankings vulnerable to a late push from Novak Djokovic.
Moya, however, insisted holding onto the top spot is not on Nadals mind.
"Right now, no," Moya added.
"A month or month and a half ago, probably yes, but when you have an injury the top priority is to recover from that injury."
Nadal has enjoyed a strong year. The 32-year-old clinched his 17th Grand Slam title by winning an 11th French Open in June, after triumphs in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome earlier in the year.