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Rafael Nadal could be set to make an early return from injury in time to play in the ATP Tour Finals and then the Davis Cup final.

Many tennis tips had predicted he would return for the two big events left in 2012, but now the Spaniard’s uncle and coach, Toni, has revealed the 26-year old will soon return to training.

Nadal has been out of action since his shock Wimbledon second round defeat to Lukas Rosol, once again failing to shake off the niggling knee problems that have dogged his career.

"Rafa is close to returning to training, in time for him to aim to play in the Masters (ATP Tour Finals) and the final of the Davis Cup,” revealed Toni.

The Olympic Games and the US Open came and went without the former world number one being able to appear, but now Nadal is hoping to step back on the court in order to salvage something from one of the toughest seasons in his career.

As well as his appearance in the ATP Finals in London, Nadal will be integral to Spain’s hopes of defending their Davis Cup title against the Czech Republic in Prague. It remains to be seen just what kind of shape the 11-time Grand Slam winner will be in when he does return to the court after such a lengthy spell of inactivity and the effect that will have on the latest tennis betting odds.

The worry will be that both the Tour Finals and the Davis Cup will be played on hard courts, which is the surface that has been the main reason behind Nadal’s continuing problems with his knees. Getting some matches under his belt before next year could be integral, however, to the 26-year old being able to bounce back next season.
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