When will Rafael Nadal return after rib injury? “We don’t know yet!”

Rafael Nadal is still uncertain when he can return to competitive tennis after withdrawing from this month’s ATP event in Barcelona as he recovers from a rib injury, his team told Reuters on Tuesday.

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

“Rafa has just been withdrawn from the entry list in Barcelona,” the team said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“We don’t know yet when he will be at his first tournament on clay this year. Hopefully, soon.”

Tests in Barcelona revealed “a stress fracture of the third left costal arch”.

Should the four-to-six week diagnosis prove to be correct, then Rafa’s return could be at the Madrid Open on May 1.

This is then followed by the Italian Open on May 8, before the ATP 250 events in Geneva and Lyon (May 15) and then the aforementioned French Open a week later.


  1. Rafa really only needs to play in Rome for march practice before RG. Rome has the surface that is most like RG, so it may be best for him to rest up until then.

    • You are spot on, Lorna, when you mention that Rome has a surface much similar to RG – so, it might be best for Rafa to rest until Rome . However, the underlying danger or the downside of this strategy would be that Rafa would be grossly under-prepared if he loses out early in Rome (I hope he doesn’t) due to rust.

      Depending on the recovery from his injury, Rafa should probably play both Madrid and Rome. As we all know, Madrid has not been a very happy hunting venue for him. So, if Rafa does participate in Madrid but doesn’t progress deep into the tournament, he would still have Rome to hone his game before RG2022. And in the best-case scenario, if he goes all the way in both Madrid and Rome, he would have played 10 matches in 14 days followed by a rest of 8 days before RG2022.

      As for the rankings, Rafa is set to drop 1860 points before RG2022, while Tsitsipas is dropping 1480 points before RG2022. If Rafa doesn’t substantially accumulate more points while Tsitsipas does well on the contrary, they could swap ranking positions prior to RG2022.

      If Tsitsipas overtakes Rafa in ranking and Rafa is seeded at #5 in RG2022, he (Rafa) should still not face a top-10 player before the quarter-finals (unless the draw is exceptionally brutal). If a player is seeded 6 and beyond, he could potentially face a top-10 player as early as in 4th round meaning that he would potentially need to win 4 matches against the top-10 players to win the tournament.

  2. Was a tad disappointed to hear Alcaraz say even before his first game at Monte Carlo that he wd love to play Novak in quarters. Jinxed himself :-). Hope he learns from Rafa to respect his next opponent and never look beyond the next match. I guess, humility doesn’t come naturally to some.

  3. There is a possibility that Rafa will play Madrid. I would be so happy for him with just this before RG. As long as Rafa is healthy that’s what matters most.

  4. I really hope Rafa recovers in time for Rome . I think he can win the Italian Masters and Roland Garros if he comes back as the odds are with him on clay . Watching Novak lose today at Monte Carlo increases my expectations about Rafa on clay 2022 .

  5. Really gutted to see him suffer the injury during Indian wells but contrary to what a lot of people said, including me skipping Indian wells was not really an option for him. He had missed a lot of tennis last year and it’s really a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. The rib injury was not because of his 2022 schedule but actually due to the fact he didn’t play for 6 + months last year which causes other injuries like his abdominal injury at the 2009 USO for example or what flared up during the Shapo match. Shame, but all we can pray for is a speedy recovery and wishing him all the best. In a way it’s a small blessing but he should recover 100% before playing.

  6. I am not an expert, but I believe our dear Rafa is better off resting-up, until the French Open.

    He was successful at the AO so he could do it again.

  7. Hope you’re better soon rafa all my ❤ l am sure you will be back when your body is healed vamos rafa xx

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