Rafael Nadal opens up on his injury after latest blow and suggests when he could return

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal Brisbane 2024
Rafael Nadal speaks to the press in Brisbane

Rafael Nadal has revealed he has been dealing with abdominal problems since he was last able to play in Australia after he was forced to withdraw from the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters.

The great Spaniard admitted to experiencing “mental problems” due to his body not allowing him to compete, while he did not rule out featuring at upcoming events in Barcelona and Madrid.

Nadal has played just one tournament and three competitive matches since the 2023 Australian Open, when he suffered a hip injury in his loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

The 37-year-old underwent arthroscopic surgery on his hip psoas muscle in June last year and sustained a setback on the same hip in his comeback tournament in Brisbane in January.

The former world No 1 was forced to pull out of the 2024 Australian Open, and has since withdrawn from events in Doha, Indian Wells and Monte Carlo.

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In an interview with Movistar, Nadal explained that his abdominal issues are the reason he has not been able to play since January as he spoke about the challenges of his physical problems.

“My body won’t let me. It’s getting difficult for me. It’s been a difficult year and a half, I’m trying every day. I have things to solve, and the reality is that at the moment I’m not being able to put myself in a position to compete. It’s hard,” the Mallorcan said.

“On a personal level everything is good; on a professional level, it is difficult, and you also have to weigh the bad moments and those that you would never have imagined experiencing.

“I don’t rule out anything, not even being in Barcelona or Madrid, but at the moment, I am not being able to get there due to physical problems.

“Many people have mental problems, and I also have them when in my work I can’t manage to fight for my goals, but, no, it’s physical, I have abdominal problems since I returned from Australia. We are trying things. We are going day by day.”

Nadal’s admission about his abdominal issues is a concern given he suffered an abdominal tear at Wimbledon in 2022 that compromised him for the remainder of that season.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has not played the Barcelona Open since 2021, while he last featured at the Madrid Masters in 2022.

The 2024 edition of the ATP 500 event in Barcelona will run from April 15-21, while the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid will be played between April 24 and May 5.

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