Rafael Nadal has resumed training for the first time since the final of the Indian Wells Masters in March.
The Spaniard took to Twitter to post pictures of himself doing some light training.
"Today after 4 weeks without stepping on a tennis court, first light training. What an illusion to step on the earth again!" he tweeted.
Nadal said he felt some pain in the chest region during his semifinal against Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells but was still able to come through 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Things got worse for the Spaniard in the final against Taylor Fritz, where he said he could not breathe properly during the match. He went down 6-3, 7-6(5) to the American in what was his first defeat of the season after 20 successive wins.
The 35-year-old took to Twitter after the final to reveal he had suffered a rib stress fracture and would be out of action for between four and six weeks.
"As it turns out, I have a stress crack in one of my ribs and will be out for 4-6 weeks. This is not good news and I did not expect this. I am sunk and sad because after the start of the season I have had such a good time," Nadal tweeted.
Rafael Nadal has had his best-ever start to a season
Rafael Nadal has had his best-ever start to a season, winning 20 out of 21 matches. He won a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open by beating Daniil Medvedev in the final despite being two sets down. The Spaniard also won the Melbourne Summer Set 1 and the Mexican Open without dropping a set in either tournament.
The 35-year-old is on the entry list for the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, both of which are only a few weeks away. The former kicks off on May 2 and seeing that the Spaniard is back in training, there is every chance he will recover in time for it.
Nadal will be determined to compete in Madrid and Rome in order to get some much-needed game time before Roland Garros in May.