Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal will return to tournament golf for the first time in 18 months at the British Masters this week.

The 50-year-old Spaniard has been out of action because of pain in his joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis, and says he reached "rock bottom" in December 2015.

Olazabal says he will play the British Masters, held at The Grove course just north of London, starting Thursday, and then the Portugal Masters next week as a "test to see if I can stand up all day."

He will then make a decision about whether he will keep playing the European Tour or the senior circuit next season.

Olazabal, Europe's Ryder Cup-winning captain in 2012, has not played competitive golf since the second round of the 2015 Masters.