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Rafael Nadal Could Miss 6-8 Weeks After Suffering Hip Injury at 2023 Australian Open

Adam WellsJanuary 19, 2023

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 18: Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during Round 2 of the 2023 Australian Open on January 18 2023, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rafael Nadal's hip injury suffered at the Australian Open will keep him out for an extended period of time.

The 36-year-old revealed on Twitter (h/t ESPN's Matt Walsh) he was diagnosed with a grade 2 left hip flexor injury that will keep him out for six to eight weeks.

Nadal was injured in the second set of his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday. He pulled up lame reaching for the ball and had to take a medical timeout.

After receiving treatment off the court before the third set, Nadal was able to finish the match. He put up a good fight in the match, but ultimately came up short, losing 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

Despite the injury and loss, Nadal emphasized afterwards he isn't thinking about retirement right now.

"It's very simple: I like what I do," he told reporters. "I like playing tennis and I know it's not forever. I like to feel myself competitive. I like to fight for the things that I have been fighting for almost half of my life."

Nadal was the defending champion at the Australian Open. This was the first time he lost before the quarterfinals since 2016. He did note that the recovery isn't the only aspect that makes returning to play difficult.

"I went through this process too many times in my career," Nadal explained during his post-match press conference. "It's not only the recovery, it's all the amount of work that you need to put together to come back at a decent level."

A six-to-eight week timeline could have Nadal back on the court at some point in March. He took almost one month off last year between Indian Wells and the Madrid Open.

Nadal could potentially be back for this year's event at Indian Wells when it begins on March 6.

The next Grand Slam tournament is the French Open, which begins on May 28. He hasn't missed the event since 2004 when he had a stress fracture in his ankle.