Nadal leads Spain in Davis Cup against Czechs

Rafael Nadal will lead defending champion Spain in next month’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic.

The second-ranked Nadal returns to the team for the first time since winning both singles matches against Serbia in the first round in March. Nadal missed last year’s final victory over Argentina with a knee injury.

David Ferrer is likely to be the other singles player, while Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez are set to remain partners in the doubles for the squad announced Monday by captain Albert Costa.

Ferrer, recovering from a hamstring injury, hasn’t played since last month’s Valencia Open.

Nadal earned a point with his win over Andy Roddick in the 2004 final when Spain won the second of its three titles since 2000. The Australian Open champion has been battling injuries since last November, with tendinitis in both knees denying him a chance at defending his Wimbledon title, while an abdominal injury has also been a bother.

The 23-year-old Nadal has won all 12 singles matches he’s played since losing in his debut against the Czechs five years ago.

The best-of-five series on indoor clay will be played at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona from Dec. 4-6.