Rafael Nadal gives fitness and comeback update following latest injury setback

Rafael Nadal unhappy Credit: Alamy
Rafael Nadal unhappy Credit: Alamy

Rafael Nadal remains touch-and-go for the Sunshine Double in the United States after new scans confirmed the initial results and time frame for recovery.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner’s defence of his Australian Open title came to a shuddering halt in the second round at Melbourne Park as he lost in three sets against American Mackenzie McDonald.

He required treatment on his hip during the encounter and a scan after the match revealed a grade two tear in his iliopsoas muscle with his team saying he will out of action for between six and eight weeks.

The Spaniard had further assessments in Barcelona this week and issued a new update.

“Today I have been at the Tecknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona where they have carried out some tests on me,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The Melbourne results are confirmed and the deadlines remain the same. Established the treatments to follow and in 3 weeks they will perform new tests to see the evolution

�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

Nadal was due to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships for the first time in 15 years, but he will now miss the ATP 500 tournament, which starts on February 27.

There are also major question marks over his participation in the ATP Masters 1000 Sunshine Double – the Indian Wells Open and the Miami Open. The Indian Wells Open starts on March 8 while the Miami Open kicks off on March 20.

The 36-year-old, though, should be fit for the clay-court season with the Monte-Carlo Masters, which starts on April 10, likely to be his first tournament on the surface this year.

Nadal’s future has been a big talking point with Alexander Zverev suggesting he could retire after this year’s French Open, but the Spaniard has dismissed those claims.

John McEnroe, meanwhile, says the tennis great will play as long as he is injury free.

“It really depends on how the body holds up, and then obviously he’s used to doing so well that if the results aren’t there for a consistent period of time, I would expect that he would stop playing then,” he said.

“I would suspect that he will wait because, if you recall last year when he went to Indian Wells, he got hurt there and then he missed the first part of the clay-court season. So I think he would prefer to sort of start with the clay-court season.”

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal’s future: Will he return to Australian Open or retire after French Open?

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