By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Tennis Writer
Rafael Nadal says he is sure he’ll be returning to competition after missing nearly all of 2023 with a hip injury that required surgery. And now he says he’ll be revealing his comeback plans soon. Nadal wrote Thursday on social media: “I confirmed yesterday I’ll be back” and punctuated that message with a smiling emoji. He says that in the coming days he will announce when and where everyone can expect to see him in action. Next season begins in late December, with the year’s first major tournament, the Australian Open, scheduled to begin main-draw matches on Jan. 14. Nadal hasn’t played since last January and had surgery on his hip in June.