Nadal set to return next month

Rafael Nadal is set to make his long-awaited return at the Brasil Open next month.

Organisers for the Sao Paulo tournament have revealed that the 11-time grand slam winner was due to return to action for the first time since Wimbledon last year.

Nadal has endured a frustrating seven months on the sidelines and was forced to abort his return from a knee injury last month after being struck down by a stomach virus.

The Spaniard's latest problem ruled him out of the Australian Open, which began in Melbourne on Monday, but a new return date appears to be set.

The Brasil Open, which Nadal won on his only previous visit in 2005, is due to begin on February 11.

In addition to his illness Nadal hinted his knee problem - the 26-year-old has suffered with tendinitis since his shock second-round loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon - was not completely healed when he pulled out of the Australian Open late last month.

"I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open," Nadal told the tournament's official website. "My knee is coming along okay, but a stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the rigours of a grand slam."