Rafael Nadal of Spain is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks due to a hip injury.

Rafael Nadal will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks of the ATP Tour schedule after injuring his hip flexor during his shock exit from the Australian Open.

The defending champion appeared to be in pain as he was beaten in straight sets by Mackenzie McDonald in the second round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday, his 6-4 6-4 7-5 defeat the latest in a long line of fitness issues.

Nadal underwent an Ultrasound scan on his left leg in Melbourne Yesterday, which discovered a grade two injury in the iliopsoas muscle. According to an update from Nadal’s team, he will return to Spain for rest and treatment, with the normal recovery time for the injury ranging from six to eight weeks.

After limping through the rest of the game, the world No. 2 called for the trainer and headed off the court for treatment, but he proceeded despite limping around the court and his wife Maria sobbing uncontrollably in the stands.

Nadal held his serve until the 11th game, roared on by fans who still believed he could turn things around, but it was a matter of when, not if, McDonald would find a way through and he quickly polished off the win.

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