Rafael Nadal will be out of action for between four and six weeks due to a rib injury. This could impact his preparations for the French Open in February.

Nadal stated Tuesday that he had undergone exams upon arriving in Spain from America. The results revealed that he has a stress fracture to one of his left ribs.

In the semi-finals against Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells, Nadal sustained the injury. Nadal lost to Taylor Fritz in the final in two sets on Sunday.

Nadal posted on Twitter, “This isn’t good news and it wasn’t expected,” “I am devastated and sad because this happens after a great season start.”

To begin the season, Nadal was 20-0, winning the Australian Open and losing to Fritz 6-3 7-6 (5) at the California hard-court tournament. This was the third-best season start since 1990 on ATP Tour. Nadal also won titles at Melbourne and Acapulco.

Nadal stated that “I was getting through a very important portion of the season feeling good and with good results.” “But, well, I’ve always had a fighting spirit and I’ll continue to be patient and hard working after I recover.”

Nadal, 35 years old, was treated by a trainer in the final against Fritz. He then said that the problem started the night before against Alcaraz.

Nadal said that he wasn’t sure what caused the discomfort and that it was “painful”, “very uncomfortable” when trying to breathe.

Nadal’s 2022 winning streak included his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open in Jan.

Third-ranked Nadal will attempt to win the record-breaking 14th French Open title at Roland Garros. In the semifinals of last years tournament in Paris, he lost to Novak Djokovic, who was eventually crowned champion.

The progress of Nadal’s recovery will determine whether he is able to participate in the Madrid Open at April’s end. Five times Madrid Open champion, the Spaniard is no stranger to Madrid. He will not be playing in the Monte Carlo Masters or the Barcelona Open next month.

Nadal already had decided to skip the tournament in Florida this week and travel to Spain to get ready for the clay-court season.