FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2018, file photo, Spain's...

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2018, file photo, Spain's Rafael Nadal answers questions at a press conference after retiring injured from his quarterfinal against Croatia's Marin Cilic at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Rafael Nadal pulled out of the upcoming Indian Wells hard-court tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, because of the left hip flexor injury that has sidelined him since the Australian Open. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File) Credit: AP/Mark Baker

MONACO — Rafael Nadal is aiming to make his comeback from a hip injury at the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters next month, organizers said Wednesday.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been sidelined with a left hip flexor injury since the Australian Open, and pulled out of hard-court tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 8 and tournament director David Massey is optimistic Nadal will play.

“Rafa was the first (player) to be registered," Massey said in statement. “He really wants to play at the Monte Carlo Masters and is giving himself every chance to take part in the tournament he's so fond of.”

Nadal has won the tournament a record 11 times, including an Open Era record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005 to 2012.

The 36-year-old Spaniard uses the event as a key part of his preparations for the French Open, which takes place May 28-June 11.

Nadal has won 14 of his major titles on clay at Roland Garros, including last year while dealing with chronic pain in his left foot.

FILE - Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to...

FILE - Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, during the men's singles semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Indian Wells, Calif. Rafael Nadal pulled out of the upcoming Indian Wells hard-court tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, because of the left hip flexor injury that has sidelined him since the Australian Open. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) Credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill

In January, Nadal hurt his hip flexor during a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States at the Australian Open.

An MRI exam the next day revealed the extent of the injury.

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