Rafael Nadal's long-awaited return form a chronic knee injury has been put on hold after the world number four was ruled out of an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi due to a stomach virus.
The organisers said in a statement that a stomach virus forced Nadal to pull out of the tournament on doctor's advice.
The 26-year-old Spaniard has not played since June when he suffered a shock defeat in the second round of Wimbledon by Czech Lukas Rosol.
The tournament in Abu Dhabi, which he won twice in 2010 and 2011, was to be his return to action after missing the Olympics, the US Open and the Davis Cup final, which Spain lost to the Czech Republic.
Nadal said he was very disappointed with yet another setback on his way back to proper fitness.
The Spaniard said he was very excited about his return, and also apologised to his fans, promising them to return next year for the same tournament in Abu Dhabi.