- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CHARLEROI, BELGIUM (AP) - Rafael Nadal says he’s recovered from a thigh injury and ready to play for Spain in the Davis Cup match against Belgium.

The top-ranked Nadal injured his left hamstring during the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. He likely will play the opening singles Friday in the first-round series.

“If I am here, it is because, physically, I am 100 percent,” said Nadal, who has been participating in two practice sessions a day with his Davis Cup teammates.

Spain is an overwhelming favorite against Belgium. Nadal is joined by top-10 players David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco.

Belgium’s team includes 51st-ranked Xavier Mattisse and 115th-ranked Olivier Rochus.

Nadal moved freely without wrapping on his leg during practice on the hard indoor surface of the 6,500-capacity Spiroudome.

“I am practicing hard,” Nadal said. “If the captain thinks I am the right player to start on Friday, I will do my best. We will see.”

Ferrer is coming off a win at the Mexican Open last weekend.

Nadal is expected to play next week at the tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.

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