(Brisbane) Rafael Nadal said Friday that he was “feeling good” for his return to Brisbane, Australia, after almost a year without competition, but he does not imagine winning a tournament in the near future.

The 37-year-old Spaniard has not played since his defeat at the Australian Open in January 2023, after which he underwent two hip operations that kept him away from the courts for a long time and almost caused the end of his career.

His return, for the Brisbane tournament which begins on Sunday, is eagerly awaited as he could play his last season.

“I feel good,” he said, during a promotional event in Australia. “I’m not going to complain, I feel much better than I could have hoped for a month ago, but in my opinion it’s impossible to think about winning tournaments today.”

The holder of 22 Grand Slam titles, including 14 at Roland-Garros (record), “isn’t expecting much,” he added, but only hopes “to be able to go on the court, (s)e feel competitive and give the best of (oneself).

“Nothing is impossible, but for me, just being here is a victory.”

Ahead of the Australian Open (January 15-28), Nadal has spent time at his academy in Kuwait, seeking temperatures and conditions similar to those he will face for the inaugural Grand Slam tournament in season.

But his level of training has been limited.

“It’s not like I’ve been training at a high intensity for the last six months. I have only been training with very good intensity for the last month,” he explained.

Twice winner of the Australian Open, in 2009 and 2022, Rafael Nadal let his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic take the lead in the race for the record major titles (24).

The Spaniard cannot “have very long-term goals” at this stage of his career, he stressed.

“I don’t see myself playing for a very long time,” he added.