SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Rafael Nadal llegó el viernes a Chile para competir en su primer torneo luego de siete meses alejado de las canchas, y señaló que todavía siente molestias en la rodilla izquierda que lo mantuvo inactivo desde Wimbledon.

"Mi rodilla a nivel está muchísimo mejor, o sea que esto es prioritario porque ya no hay riesgo de romper", dijo Nadal a la prensa que lo esperaba a su arribo en el aeropuerto internacional de Santiago. "Pero yo evidentemente sigo teniendo molestias que aún, pues, a lo mejor me impiden jugar todo el tiempo que me gustaría, pero algún día hay que empezar".

Agregó que esas molestias le impiden entrenar con normalidad, pero insistió en que "algún día hay que empezar y creo que es el momento adecuado y el lugar adecuado".

El tenista español, de 26 años, regresará a la competición en el torneo abierto de Viña del Mar, en el cual debutará el martes en un juego de dobles junto al argentino Juan Mónaco. En individuales jugará el miércoles.

Nadal jugó su último partido en Wimbledon en junio de 2012, donde cayó en segunda ronda. Luego emprendió un proceso de recuperación conservador que lo mantuvo alejado de las canchas y le obligó a perderse los Juegos Olímpicos y el Abierto de Estados Unidos del año pasado, y el Abierto de Australia en enero.

El quinto del ranking de la ATP y siete veces campeón de Roland Garros dijo que se esforzará al máximo en el torneo de Viña del Mar, el principal balneario de este país a 120 kilómetros al noroeste de Santiago.

"Estoy aquí para dar mi máximo que tengo en este momento, y es de esperar que la rodilla pueda aguantar bien", agregó el ex número uno.

Dijo que la decisión de retornar en Viña del Mar se debió a que es en una superficie blanda de arcilla y que nunca había estado en Chile.

Apuntó que en su retorno a las canchas "todo puede ocurrir" y que podría ser eliminado en primera ronda ante un rival aún no determinado, pues el sorteo se realizará el lunes.

"Es algo que puede pasar. Llevo muchos meses sin competir, siete meses, es la primera vez que voy a estar en la pista de tenis después de muchísimo tiempo. Todo puede ocurrir. Voy a intentar que no pase, pero hay que estar preparado para cualquier cosa y ser paciente", expresó.

Luego de Viña del Mar, jugará en el torneo de Sao Paulo y en Acapulco.

La primera actividad pública del destacado tenista español será un encuentro con el presidente chileno Sebastián Piñera. A la cita acudirá junto con los veteranos tenistas chilenos Fernando González y Nicolás Massú.

Massú, ganador de dos medallas de oro en el torneo olímpico de Atenas 2004, recibió una invitación especial para participar en el torneo viñamarino.

Relcionado en HuffPost Voces:

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  • Rafael Nadal

    Spain's Rafael Nadal holds a symbolic check during the Brazil Open ATP tennis tournament award ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Nadal defeated Argentina's David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 in the final game. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Rafael Nadal

    Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates at the end of the Brazil Open ATP tournament final tennis match against Argentina's David Nalbandian in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Nadal won 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Rafael Nadal

    Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the Brazil Open ATP tennis tournament trophy as he poses for pictures after defeating Argentina's David Nalbandian in the final match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Nadal won 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • Rafael Nadal

    Spain's Rafael Nadal holds up the Brazil Open ATP tennis tournament trophy after defeating Argentina's David Nalbandian in the final match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Nadal won 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal (L) and his uncle and coach Toni Nadal take part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal gestures during a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal (R) and his uncle and coach Toni Nadal take part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal (R) and his his uncle and coach Toni Nadal take part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-NADAL

    Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal takes part in a training session in Manacor on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca on January 30, 2013. Nadal, who has been sidelined since June by a left knee injury and then a stomach complaint, will take part in the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile. AFP PHOTO/ Jaime REINA (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal is pictured before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal is pictured before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain's Rafael Nadal (R) shakes hands with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)'s Brazilian midfielder Nene in front PSG's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) before the French L1 football match PSG vs Reims on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SITGES, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 26: Rafael Nadal (R) and Jose Manuel Barcelo, Managing Director, Bacardi Iberia, attend a press conference for 'Champions Drink Responsibly' by Bacardi on November 26, 2012 in Sitges, Spain. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

  • Rafael Nadal Attends 'Champions Drink Responsibly' in Sitges

    SITGES, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 26: Rafael Nadal attends a press conference for 'Champions Drink Responsibly' by Bacardi on November 26, 2012 in Sitges, Spain. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

  • Rafael Nadal Attends 'Champions Drink Responsibly' in Sitges

    SITGES, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 26: Rafael Nadal attends a press conference for 'Champions Drink Responsibly' by Bacardi on November 26, 2012 in Sitges, Spain. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

  • TENNIS-ESP-VALENCIA- OPEN

    Spain's Rafael Nadal (L) congratulates Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero during a ceremony in his honour at the Open 500 Valencia at the Agora space in Valencia, on October 24, 2012. Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero had announced in mid-September during the Davis Cup semi-final with the United States his retirement from professional tennis in October after a 14-year career in which he won 16 tour titles. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal is pictured before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's Rafael Nadal (C) leaves the stand after the French L1 football match Paris PSG vs Reims, on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal is pictured before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal is pictured before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's Rafael Nadal is pictured after giving a kick off to the French L1 football match Paris PSG vs Reims, on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal (R) shakes hands Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian midfielder Nene ahead of the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-REIMS

    Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kevin Gameiro before the French L1 football match Paris Saint Germain (PSG) vs Reims (SR), on October 20, 2012 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FILE - This June 10, 2012 file photo shows Rafael Nadal wiping his face as he plays Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their men's final match in the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Nadal still has no timetable for his return from a knee injury. The Spaniard hasn't played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June to little-known Lukas Rosol. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

  • Rafa Nadal Receives 'Man of the Year' Award 2012 By Vanity Fair Magazine

    MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17: Rafa Nadal receives 'Man of the Year' award 2012 by Vanity Fair magazine at Italian Embassy on September 17, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

  • Rafa Nadal Receives 'Man of the Year' Award 2012 By Vanity Fair Magazine

    MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17: Rafa Nadal receives 'Man of the Year' award 2012 by Vanity Fair magazine at Italian Embassy on September 17, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

  • Rafa Nadal Receives 'Man of the Year' Award 2012 By Vanity Fair Magazine

    MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17: Rafa Nadal receives 'Man of the Year' award 2012 by Vanity Fair magazine at Italian Embassy on September 17, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain Lukas reacts after losing a point to Rosol of the Czech Republic during a second round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain lies on the court after failing to return a shot to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic during a second round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain lies on the court after failing to return a shot to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic during a second round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during a second round men's singles match against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a return to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic during a second round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a return to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic during a second round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning a first round men's singles match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning a first round men's singles match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a return to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during a first round men's singles match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a return to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during a first round men's singles match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain chases down a shot by Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)