Del Potro set for comeback

The former US Open champion has not played since February last year because of a left wrist problem that required surgery the following month.

It is the second time Del Potro has been sidelined for a long spell by a wrist problem, with the Argentine undergoing an operation on his right arm in 2010.

The 26-year-old admitted that he was still experiencing pain in his wrist ahead of next week’s Apia International Sydney.

But, writing on his Facebook page, Del Potro said: “Hello everyone!!! I wanted to tell you that we decided to travel to play Sydney and the Australian Open.

“I missed the tour, I missed to compete, I missed interacting with you on court and those feelings outweigh the pain in the wrist, which comes and goes and prevented me from having the ideal pre-season training.

“I don’t expect great results, I just want to feel the competition, I want to feel an active player once again, nearly a year after my last match.

“At this point I don’t care about the rankings. The situation is different. I take it as a reward for the effort that I put (in) to come back.

“The experience of my previous injury will help me so as not to be too anxious. I follow what my doctor Richard Berger says. I have to be patient.”

Del Potro has dropped to 135 in the world but can play a maximum of nine tournaments with a protected ranking.

When he returned to action in 2010 his ranking was 259 and it took him more than a year to climb back into the top 10, reaching a high of No 4 last January.