The Bahrain Merida rider may not equal or better his second place overall at last year's Vuelta a España but the bigger goal is the men's road race title in Innsbruck at the end of September.
Nibali broke his 10th vertebra on the famous Alpe d'Huez climb mid-July after his handlebars caught on a fan's camera strap.
His successful surgery at the beginning of the month involved an "injection of biocompatible cement into the body of the vertebra," a team release at the time confirmed.
The Italian posted a video on Instagram yesterday of his first training ride outside after his operation while La Gazzetta dello Sport’s cycling correspondent Ciro Scognamiglio confirmed Nibali's Vuelta participation on Twitter.
Nibali recce'd the challenging world championship course earlier this year and commented "after seeing it on paper I was expecting a hard route but riding it is quite another thing. Many other riders will be as surprised as I was today."
His objectives mirror those of Aussie Richie Porte who said last week his biggest goal is worlds after crashing out of the Tour de France on Stage 9.
"A couple of days after the crash, it was nice to get a message from Brad McGee, the Aussie national team selector. He put that thought in my head and that motivated me to get my act together to get back before the season is out."
"I don't know where my form will be but that's a nice goal to go to the Vuelta and try to see how it goes."
SBS will be broadcasting every stage of La Vuelta LIVE, with streaming on the Cycling Central website. Times and channel TBA. We're also bringing you coverage of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships - details TBA.