Cape Town - Rafael Nadal's doctor has revealed the Spaniard's latest injury setback came as a huge shock to his entire team.
Nadal spent over a month recovering from the hip injury that forced him out of the Australian Open, only for the injury to flare up again during a training session with Adrian Mannarino, one day before he was due to start his campaign in Acapulco.
In an interview with El Pais, Nadal's long-time physician Angel Ruiz Cotorro said that they are adopting a very cautious approach to the latest setback in the hopes of being fit and ready for the clay-court season.
"When you are about to compete and in your first training session (and) this happens, obviously it influences you and it's hard," Cotorro said.
"It's in a muscle and not in a tendon, which would have been much worse.
"The negative thing is that pain is back in an already affected zone and this is not something unusual. Rafa was practicing in a normal way and everything was going well. We need to be optimistic, because we have always been so, but also realistic and now, seeing what happened, we have to be as cautious as possible.
"Rafa will be back when he will be doing well."
Cotorro said everyone was hopeful that Nadal would be back in time to compete on his favourite surface.
"We hope that he will be recovered for the clay-court season, that's the goal." he said.
"Rafa should rest for two or three weeks, then have a progressive recovery, but it always depends on how everything works. You have to monitor this injury closely, so we will go week-by-week, without rushing."