Another injury blow hurts Nadal

28 February 2018 05:00:22 EST

Rafael Nadal is facing another battle to regain full fitness after the recurrence of a hip problem forced him to withdraw from the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion was preparing to make his first tournament appearance since the Australian Open, but noticed a problem in his final training session and is now waiting to find out the exact nature of the issue.

There is a significant risk of increasing the injury and I have no choice.

Rafael Nadal

The Spanish left-hander told reporters: "My goal and hope was to play in this tournament. Unfortunately, in my last training session, I felt a sharp pain in my leg again.

"I had done all the right steps to get well prepared for the tournament, which was my goal and my dream. Unfortunately, I noticed a puncture in the same area where I had the problem in Australia.

"Doctors have told me that it is impossible to play, regardless of whether it hurts. There is a significant risk of increasing the injury and I have no choice."

Nadal was forced to retire during the final set of his clash with eventual runner-up Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month and has been unable to return to the match court ever since.

The 31-year-old will hope to be able to return in time to prepare for the French Open, where Nadal has won an astonishing ten of his 16 Grand Slam titles.

He is priced at 2/5 to win an 11th Paris crown later this year, with Dominic Thiem available at 8/1 and Novak Djokovic 10/1.

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