French Open champion Rafa Nadal will make his long-awaited comeback from injury at next month’s Brazil Open, the ATP confirmed on Tuesday.
The Mallorcan former world number one has been sidelined with a knee injury since last year’s Wimbledon tournament and his hopes of returning at the Australian Open were hit by illness.
It will be Nadal’s first appearance on the tour in South America since 2005.
Roger Federer recently toured South America for a series of exhibition matches.
Nadal won his 11th grand slam title at Roland Garros in 2012 before losing in the second round at Wimbledon to world No 100 Lukas Rosol.
He told the Australian Open’s website: “I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open.
“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.”
Nicolas Almagro and Stanislas Wawrinka are also scheduled to play the 28-man ATP Tour event in Sao Paulo starting on February 11.