MADRID - Rafael Nadal's return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus.
The Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee. But he said on his Facebook page Tuesday that his doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever.
Nadal says "everything had been prepared" and he was looking forward to his return. But doctors told him his body needed rest.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.