Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal will end a six-month absence from tennis when he competes in an Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament later this month, the Spaniard has revealed.
Nadal has been sidelined by knee problems following June's shock second-round exit at Wimbledon to 100th-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol.
"Can't wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month," he wrote on his Twitter and Facebook pages. "I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011 -- would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year."
After his Wimbledon exit, the 11-time grand slam champion was diagnosed with Hoffa's syndrome, an inflammation of the fatty tissue in his left knee that has sidelined him on numerous occasions over the years.
The injury meant Nadal was unable to defend his Olympic title at London 2012, with the 26-year-old dropping to fourth in the rankings after also missing out on the U.S. Open and Spain's Davis Cup final defeat to the Czech Republic in November.
Having started training again late last month, Nadal will make his return in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 28, 17 days before the first grand slam of 2013 -- the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Earlier this month, he said it would be difficult to win the Australian Open after such a lengthy period off court, warning fans not to expect "miracles."
Nadal has a first-round bye in Abu Dhabi, then plays the winner of the match between U.S. Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray and ninth-ranked Serbian Janko Tipsarevic.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will also line up in the six-man, three-day event. He will play either world No. 5 David Ferrer or Czech Davis Cup winner Tomas Berdych on the second day.
Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation has named Djokovic and third-ranked woman Serena Williams as its 2012 world champions.