The world No.1 has not taken to the court since retiring hurt from his last eight clash with Marin Cilic at the Australian Open in January.

The ‘King of Clay’ was due to make his comeback at the Mexico Open in Acapulco in February, however an injury setback forced him to withdraw from the tournament and he subsequently missed the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Spaniard will challenge Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday in the second singles rubber. He has won an impressive 14 of his 15 previous encounters with the wily German, and will expect to prevail again on his beloved clay in Valencia.

“I was not very good in mathematics at school,” quipped Nadal, when asked how close he was to full fitness. “I don’t know about percentages, but I’m here to play, and play as well as possible,” he told Davis

“From the beginning, my idea was to be here, but we have to be respectful with the injury. He [Spanish captain Sergi Bruguera] believes I’m ready, and I believe too.

Nadal, as expected, holds an outstanding record in the Davis Cup. The 31-year-old has lost just one of 23 singles matches – and he has never tasted defeat on the red dirt.

The opening rubber of the tie is also an appealing one. Alexander Zverev, fresh from reaching the final of the Miami Open, will take on David Ferrer for a fifth time.