Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal injury update: ‘Big, big breakdown’ puts Monte-Carlo return in doubt

Rafael Nadal has revealed he suffered a ‘big. Big breakdown’ in Australia and the injury is far worse than it was initially reported.

Nadal lost in the second round at the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald, but he was clearly struggling with injury.

That injury turned out to be an abdominal strain similar to the one he suffered at Wimbledon and then blighted him at the US Open.

What is the latest injury update on Nadal?

Understandably, Nadal is taking his time to make sure he is over the injury this time before returning, but there are complications to consider too.

The tear is in the psoas which is notoriously temperamental, and it is a crucial muscle for generating power on the serve.

“I am taking it week by week, I’m having tests to see the progress [I am making] from the injury,” Nadal told the Spanish media.

“I haven’t talked much since what happened in Australia, but in Australia I had a big, big breakdown.

“It was a very big tear in the muscle, I tore a little bit of the tendon. It is a very complicated place in the psoas, in all sports, but in tennis we get strength from there, so it is a slower recovery than we would like.

“We have no choice but to be a little patient; it is true that the calendar is passing and that I am no longer 20 years old, and after a year like the one I’ve been having, one gets tired, but I do what I can.

“Every day I’m at the Academy training, gym, recovery, 15 or 20 minutes on the court so that my arm doesn’t degenerate…”

When will Rafael Nadal be back from injury?

Monte Carlo Masters

The assumption has always been that Nadal will be back in time for the start of clay season, which would be April 10.

However, he has since briefed the press that no one should be making that assumption. He still hopes to be back for at least some of clay season as he bids to win a 15th Roland Garros, but he is unwilling to put a date on it.

“I do not know if it will be Monte-Carlo, I do not know if it will be Barcelona, if it will be Madrid, but I want to play, so when I can be there I will be back right away,” he said.

“The important thing for me, beyond all that, is to try to be healthy. When I compete on clay to feel that I can compete for what I want and fight for the ultimate goal, which right now has to be Roland Garros.”

Projected Rafael Nadal schedule

Nadal will still obviously be targeting Monte-Carlo and it is the next event he is currently scheduled for. Assuming he doesn’t pull out, his upcoming schedule is as follows.

April 9: Monte-Carlo Masters (ATP 1000)
April 17: Barcelona (ATP 500)
April 26: Madrid Open (ATP 1000)
May 10: Rome Masters (ATP 1000)
May 28: Roland Garros (Grand Slam)
July 3: Wimbledon (Grand Slam)

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.