Rafael Nadal's comeback has been put on hold for a few more weeks -- or perhaps, a couple of months -- following his withdrawal from the Australian Open.
But it is not the troublesome left knee preventing him from playing in Melbourne. The Spanish tennis star issued a statement on Friday saying a stomach virus had disrupted his preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year.
The event starts Jan. 14. Nadal has been out of action since a second-round loss at Wimbledon in June because of tendinitis in the knee.
“My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors,” Nadal said in a statement. “But this virus didn't allow me to practice this past week, and therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha [a tournament in Qatar starting Monday] and the Australian Open.”