Nadal picked up a knee injury at the end of 2017 and was forced to postpone his pre-season training camp because of it, also cancelling two tournaments ahead of the Australian Open.

But the Spaniard appeared to have shaken off the problem, progressing through to the second week of the opening Grand Slam of the season without apparent hindrance.

However, he pulled out of his quarter-final clash with Marin Cilic during the fifth set, citing a leg injury that had initially emerged midway through the match.

Nadal had an MRI scan the day after that revealed a minor tear but he insisted he would not be changing his schedule.

And the 31-year-old appears to remain confident of keeping his commitment to playing in Acapulco on February 26 as planned.

“The injury was limiting and it was impossible to continue, but it is progressing favourably and I hope to train again soon,” Nadal said speaking at an event for one of his sponsors Banco Sabadell.

He added: “My big goal for 2018 is to be happy , the rest is secondary.

“I’ve been on the circuit for 16 years and I want to continue doing what I do as long as possible, but health is fundamental.”

Nadal will also be keen to hang on to the world No 1 spot that he regained last year for as long as possible.

And if he misses his next tournament in Mexico, Roger Federer is guaranteed to overtake him and supplant his great rival atop the rankings.

But if Nadal does play, then Federer could need to score points at his scheduled tournament for that week, the Dubai Championship, although he is unsure if he will travel to the Middle East.

“We were in talks with the [Dubai organisers] but when the [Australian Open] tournament started, I just said ‘look, if it’s okay, I’d like to decide after the tournament’,” Federer said.

“That’s an ideal scenario for me. After the tournament, I’ll know how I feel… did I come out injured or not?

“So now we know what the situation is.

“It’s possible I’ll play in Dubai but it’s also possible that maybe I just don’t play anything.

“It depends on how the next week or so goes. Then I’ll make a decision.”

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