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Rib fracture rules out Nadal for a month

Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal could be out until May after suffering a stress fracture of a rib.

Nadal reached the final in Indian Wells but needed treatment during his semi-final victory over Carlos Alcaraz, and was clearly hampered in a straight-sets defeat by Taylor Fritz on Sunday, his first loss of the season

Writing on Twitter, Nadal said: “Hello everyone, I wanted to announce that I have returned to Spain and I immediately went to visit my medical team to do the tests after the Indian Wells final that I played with discomfort.

“As it turns out, I have a stress crack in one of my ribs and will be out for four to six weeks. This is not good news and I did not expect this.”

The Spaniard will almost certainly miss the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open, tournaments he has won 11 and 12 times respectively, and he could also be forced to sit out the Madrid Open at the beginning of May.

The French Open, which he has won 13 times, opens on May 22.

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