Rafael Nadal gives worrying injury update ahead of Qatar Open

Nadal has not played since early January.

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Rafael Nadal injured his hip in early 2023 and required surgery after initial rehab did not work. He worked his way back to be able to play in the Brisbane International at the beginning of 2024. After a couple of promising matches, Nadal either aggravated the 2023 injury or caused a new, more minor, injury to the same hip and had to pull out of the tournament.

Nadal then missed the Australian Open because of being hurt and did not want to risk even further injury. The last time Nadal played was in Brisbane. He did schedule himself to play at the ATP part of the Qatar Open which begins on February 19, but that seems to be in doubt now as well.

The all-time tennis great recently told El Objective that he is dealing with "discomfort" in his hip. This has not only affected him physically as he is unable to extend himself in practice, but he is having a tough time dealing with being hurt mentally as well. An athlete who is used to being great and whose body suddenly will not allow the same level of play would be extremely difficult to deal with.

Rafael Nadal iffy on whether he will play at the Qatar Open

According to Nadal, "I have had some discomfort in recent weeks and I am a little bit on the limit. At this point every blow I take, every injury, is a setback not only in tennis and physically, but also mentally."

This means that he is waiting to make a final decision on whether to play in Qatar. If there is any doubt to his fitness, he would likely withdraw from the tournament. No offense to the Qatar Open, but the tournament is a 250 level event and there is no reason for Nadal to try to play in the tournament when Masters 1000 tournaments happen in March.

Nadal did say he fully expects to be able to participate at Indian Wells, the first Masters 1000 event of the year. He told El Objective, "I trust 100 percent to be in Indian Wells, it is a very special tournament for me. I don't know if it will be the last time I am going to play it, but there are options that yes, so I would like to be in Indian Wells."

Imagining Nadal playing for much longer and expecting his hip to suddenly get better and stay that way is probably asking too much. Hopefully, he can play through at least the French Open. But let's just hope he doesn't greatly re-injure the hip so that the injury affects his quality of life long-term.

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