The Spaniard has suffered a rib stress fracture, he revealed on Tuesday
Rafael Nadal is sidelined again. © TPN / Getty Images
World number three Rafael Nadal has been ruled out of action from four to six weeks after suffering a rib stress fracture, as confirmed by his personal physician and the player himself.
Nadal – who became the record Grand Slam title holder in men’s tennis at the Australian Open in January – saw his unbeaten start to 2022 come to an end in the final of the Indian Wells Masters at the weekend, where he was defeated by Taylor Fritz but complained of a chest issue and breathing difficulties during the tournament.
On Twitter, Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he had returned to Spain and immediately went to visit his medical team after playing “with discomfort” against Fritz.
“As it turns out, I have a stress fracture in one of my ribs and will be out for 4-6 weeks,” he said, which was also confirmed by his personal physician Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro to Spanish media.
“This is not good news and I did not expect this,” Nadal added, saying that he was “sunk and sad” due to having had “such a good time” at the start of the current season.
“I reached a very important part of the year with very good feelings and good results,” Nadal went on.
“But hey, I’ve always had that spirit of fighting and overcoming [things] and I will be patient and work hard after my recovery,” Nadal vowed, before thanking his followers for their support.
Nadal is likely to be ruled out of the Monte Carlo Masters from April 10 to 17, but could defend his title at the Barcelona Open from April 18 to 24.
The Madrid Open is also a possible comeback tournament from April 28 to May 8 before the Italian Open in Rome from May 9 to 15.
Above all, King of Clay Nadal will want to be recovered and fit for the French Open from May 22 onwards where is the record all-time winner with 13 trophies.
Novak Djokovic is the reigning champion at Roland Garros, however, and will look to equal Nadal’s record haul of 21 Grand Slam titles by defending his crown successfully after France relaxed its Covid protocol.
This means the Serb can play at Roland Garros whether he has been vaccinated or not, with a medical exemption and visa scandal Down Under resulting in Djokovic being deported from Australia and relinquishing the title when Nadal completed a remarkable comeback in the final against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev following an injury-strewn 2021.
After withdrawing from Wimbledon and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Nadal announced he would also sit out the US Open won by Medvedev against Djokovic in the final after “suffering too much” with a foot injury over the previous 12 months.
That decision has paid off well so far this year, with Nadal embarking on a 20-match winning streak and clinching three competitions including the Mexican Open, before defeat to Fritz in California on Sunday.