Nishikori to return later this month

Kei Nishikori may have pulled out of the Australian Open, but he still hopes to return to action later this month.

The Japanese star withdrew from the Melbourne tournament earlier this week, as he continues his recovery from the wrist injury which has kept him out since August.

Nishikori claimed he was still not ready to play five set matches, but he will look to boost his fitness in the United States at two tournaments later this month.

The former world number one four has been entered into Challenger Events in Newport Beach, California, on January 22 and Dallas, Texas, on January 29.

“I am very excited and looking forward to getting back on the court in January,” said Nishikori.

“The Oracle Challenger Series is a perfect event in a great southern California location to help me get some match play. This will be a great opportunity to face some high-level competition.”