Rafael Nadal says he has been more encouraged recently about his recovery from a left knee injury and hopes to soon resume practice.
Nadal didn't rule out playing next month in the ATP World Tour Finals or Davis Cup finals, but added that returning that quickly would be difficult. He spoke from his home in Mallorca during a conference call Tuesday to promote his participation in an exhibition in New York in March.
Nadal hasn't played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June. A partially torn patella tendon forced him to miss the Olympics, where he was the defending gold medalist, and the U.S. Open.
The Spaniard played with anti-inflammatories to get through the French Open, which he won for a record seventh time.