Kei Nishikori has said that he hopes to return from his lengthy injury absence in January and said that he is hoping to win titles and claim a place in the top five next season.

Before he picked up a season-ending wrist injury ahead of the Cincinnati Masters in August, the 27-year-old was ranked ninth in the world. He was then joined by a number of top players on the side-lines including Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka.

Now Nishikori has said that he aims to return for January’s Brisbane international, the warm-up for the Australian Open, where he finished runner-up last January. However, he is still wary about rushing his recovery.

Great to see Mr. Morita today. Very thankful to all his help, support and advice over all the years.

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Speaking recently he said, “I can’t say when I’ll heal from my injury so I’m trying not to rush anything. I’m aiming for the Brisbane International but it could be February, or even March, who knows. I want to make sure I’m in top form when I’m back on tour so I’m in a position to win a Masters or grand slam title. I also hope I’m mentally stronger and hungrier next season.”

This is not his first absence caused by injury. In 2009 he was side-lined for close to a year after having elbow surgery and this time around he chose rehabilitation instead of surgery to treat his injury.

“There was a lot of good that came from this experience,” he said. “If it weren’t for the injury I wouldn’t have undergone a rehab period in Europe. I wouldn’t have met the physical trainer who introduced me to a conditioning method that was new to me. I feel like it could change my body.”

He was full of determination to emulate Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who both made successful returns from injury this year and added, “hope to make it back into the top five. I know I can.”