2/4/13 2:21 AM | Johan Lindahl
The last thing on his mind is a rise in the rankings as Rafael Nadal prepares to take this week's injury return to tennis in Chile with the utmost caution.
"After seven months out I'm not in a position to think about that," said the 11-times Grand Slam winner of any possible return to No. 1. "I'll try to play better week after week."
Nadal is stepping onto clay after his knee injury pause which forced him to miss the last half of 2012 as well as the Australian Open. He will test his knee - which he admits that even after all this time is not at 100 per cent - in Chile, Brazil and then Mexico.
The 26-year-old now stands fifth on the ATP, trailing Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and compatriot David Ferrer. "The time of recuperation has been good and it's good to come back on clay. I'm happy to be here and my idea is to enjoy the week and see what happens.
"I'm feeling good, but I need to have weeks of competition on the tour. I have to start slowly and with patience. I don't worry now about running to be able to play the best I can. That can help me progress as far as possible."
Nadal is playing in South America for the first time in eight years, with his No. 5 rankings his lowest in that period.
He begins in doubles with Juan Monaco at Vina del Mar, an ATP 250 event next week and then plays singles after a bye.
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