WATCH: Rafael Nadal plays a 97-year-old

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Rafael Nadal has said he wants to play the Australian Open and is aiming to come back at the Abu Dhabi exhibition before the start of next season.

At No. 5 in the tour rankings, the 35-year-old has been sidelined with a foot injury and has played just one event since the French Open.

"My plan is to play in Abu Dhabi in December, and then a tournament before Australia and then the Australian Open. That is my goal. We are working hard to make this happen," he was quoted as saying at a sponsorship event in Paris.

Nadal hasn't played since the Citi Open in August.

Nadal hasn't played since the Citi Open in August. 

Nadal initially returned during the hard-court swing but then withdrew from his next three events, including the US Open, and announced he would not play again for the rest of the season. Since then, he has undergone a small procedure on his foot for a bone problem that has bothered him for most of his career but has recently become more painful.

"I have started practicing again," he said. "I am feeling better. I was off the courts since the foot surgery in September, but I have picked up the racquet again and am on the courts.

"So far, all the signs are good."