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Rafael Nadal practices on stadium court at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The Spanish ace suffered a rib injury during the event. Image Credit: USA Today Sports

Barcelona: Rafa 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.

The Spaniard, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles, was ruled out last month for up to six weeks with a stress fracture in his rib.

The 35-year-old has withdrawn from this month’s Barcelona Open.

“Rafa has just been withdrawn from the entry list in Barcelona,” the team said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Stress fracture

“We don’t know yet when he will be at his first tournament on clay this year. Hopefully, soon.” Nadal complained of a chest issue during his run to the final of the ATP 1000 event in Indian Wells, California last month.

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

Madrid and Rome host ATP Masters 1000 events next month and Nadal would be hoping to participate to get matches under his belt before the May 22-June 5 French Open, which he has won a record 13 times.