Rafael Nadal for December return

Rafael Nadal
© PA Photos
Rafael Nadal is expected to return to tennis in December, although he may still miss next year's Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal is expected to make his long-awaited return to tennis before the end of the year.

The Spaniard has not played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June.

Nadal said last week that although he would like to return at the Mubadala exhibition tournament, he may yet miss the Australian Open.

Organisers of the tournament in Abu Dhabi have said that Nadal will join a field including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer.

The tournament runs from December 27 to December 29.

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ATP RankingsPoints
1Scotland flag Andy Murray7,750
2Spain Rafael Nadal7,555
3Switzerland Roger Federer7,145
4Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka5,780
5Serbia Novak Djokovic5,325
6Croatia Marin Cilic5,155
7Alexander Zverev4,470
8Austria Dominic Thiem4,030
9Japan Kei Nishikori3,285
10Canada Milos Raonic3,230
11Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov3,070
12France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga2,770
13Belgium David Goffin2,560
14Spain Roberto Bautista Agut2,425
15Czech Republic Tomas Berdych2,390
16United States Jack Sock2,335
17Pablo Carreno Busta2,305
18Lucas Pouille2,220
19United States John Isner2,110
20United States Sam Querrey2,060