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WATCH: Nadal took his first loss of the 2022 season in Indian Wells; his clay-court schedule is now in doubt.

Rafael Nadal returned to Spain following his BNP Paribas Open final defeat to Taylor Fritz and underwent medical tests that revealed the 21-time Grand Slam champion is suffering from a “stress crack” in his left rib—likely ruling him out of action for the next four to six weeks.

Nadal, who had preemptively withdrawn from the Miami Open to monitor his chronic foot injury, will be forced to reassess his clay-court swing, one that culminates with his beloved Roland Garros, a tournament he has won an astounding 13 times.

"This is not good news and I did not expect this,” Nadal said in a statement to Marca, a Spanish-language publication. “I am devastated and sad because after such a good start of the season, I reached a very important part of the year with very good sensations and good results. But hey, I've always had that fighting and overcoming spirit and what I will do is be patient and work hard after my recovery. Once again I would like to thank everyone for their support.”

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Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, who is currently treating Nadal, believes the injury occurred during the former world No. 1’s Indian Wells semifinal against Carlos Alcaraz, which Nadal won to extend his 2022 winning streak to 20 straight matches.

To this point, Nadal had enjoyed a dream start to his season, winning three titles and passing Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the Grand Slam race at the Australian Open. The 35-year-old had originally planned to play a full clay-court schedule starting at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters—a tournament he has won 11 times—followed by appearances in Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome, where he combines for a total of 27 titles.

Roland Garros remains in play given the current time frame, but questions remain how this time off will impact his preparation.