Rafael Nadal says that his knee is "still bothering him" as he continues to make his comeback in South America.
Nadal missed the second half of last season due to tendonitis in his left knee and was beaten by world No.73 Horacio Zeballos in the final of the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile earlier this month.
The 26-year-old did win the Brazil Open with a win over David Nalbandian last weekend and will compete in the Mexican Open next week, but he says he is still not completely recovered.
“The knee isn’t 100 per cent. It’s better and I’ve been able to compete, but it’s still bothering me,” Nadal told ESPN.
“It’s better on some days and worse on others, which isn’t ideal for someone like me, because my idea of competing is based on giving it all at all times.”
The Spaniard admitted his frustration at the delays to his return to action.
“I always said ‘I have to go back’, but for various reasons it wasn’t to be”, Nadal added.
“Now things have come together to make it possible. It’s on clay, which helps, and in any case it’s long overdue.
“I was excited about playing in the South American swing again and I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic experience.
“I don’t know about results, but emotionally it will be great to play in front of people who speak my language, people who are like brothers, in front of a crowd where I feel very at home."