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Future Grows Cloudier for Nadal's Career

Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal's return to the circuit after an absence of almost six months will not happen in either Abu Dhabi or the Australian Open.

This throws an even larger monkey wrench into an already ominous early-season for Nadal, who has been busy rehabbing his left knee. The last match the "King of Clay" played in 2012 was a second-round, five-set loss at Wimbledon to Czech to 100th-ranked journeyman Lukas Rosol.

Granted, the stomach virus that caused Nadal to cancel his trip to the United Arab Emirates or Australia isn't exactly a career-threatening injury. So what? He already has one of those.

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