Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since last summer, will play in the Barcelona Open, which will take place April 20-28, 2013, in the northeastern Spanish city, organizers said Thursday.

The decision is good news for the tournament since Nadal is one of the big draws on the tour and a huge sports hero in Barcelona.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion began the summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he has not played since a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.

Nadal told Efe in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa's syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.

The Spaniard, known for his physically demanding style of play and incredible defensive skills, has struggled to stay healthy during his career, having been forced to withdraw from each of the four Grand Slam events due to various injuries.

Nadal recently announced that he will return to action at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi, an event that starts on Dec. 27.

The tennis star is the defending champion at the Barcelona Open and also won the event in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

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