London: World number one Rafael Nadal, who is currently recovering from a thigh injury, is hoping to make a return in competitive tennis by the end of this month.
The Spanish maestro was forced to retire from season-opening Grand Slam-- Australian Open-in the quarter-final clash against Croatia's Marin Cilic due to the same injury.
Nadal was also expected to miss the Mexican Open at the end of the month to allow him to recover fully, but he believes he would be fit in time to be back for the Acapulco tournament, beginning February 26.
"It's a small injury that needs time and rest and recovery, and that's what we're doing. For the moment my schedule is the same and I think I'll be able to travel to Mexico to play at Acapulco," the Daily Express quoted Nadal, as saying.
The 31-year-old's comments came after bagging the Sportsperson of the Year award at the Mundo Deportivo Grand Gala.
In case, Nadal does not play in Mexico or fails to reach the semi-finals of the tournament and Roger Federer wins the Dubai Open in the same week, then the top-ranked player would lose his spot to the Swiss star, who recently lifted his sixth Australian Open title.