Rafael Nadal limps out of Rome Masters sparking Roland Garros injury concerns

Rafael Nadal appears to be struggling with foot injury again, but he says there is little to worry about.

Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Italian Open on Thursday sparking an injury scare ahead of the French Open.

Nadal was facing fellow left-hander Denis Shapovalov in Rome, and looked in some serious discomfort with his foot as the Canadian secured a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory.

With just over a week to go until the Roland Garros, Nadal is now looking short of game time and form, and serious questions remain about the foot injury that kept him out for much of last year.

However, speaking after the match, Nadal insisted he was not injured - he was simply managing a continual problem.

"I had my foot again with a lot of pain, and that's it," Nadal explained.

"I am not injured. I am a player living with an injury. That's it. [This] is nothing new. It's something that is there.

"Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it's difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes.

"What can happen in the next couple of days, I don't know. What can happen in one week, I really don't know now. It's the time to accept the situation and fight. That's it."

Nadal has struggled with the foot condition for most of his career, but last season his usual treatments stopped working, forcing him to step away from the tour for a rethink.

He, though, says that despite how it looked he is seeing plenty of reasons for optimism.

"Since I came back, the foot has been tough," he said.

"It's tough for me to be able to practise the proper way days in a row. So then you need to move well to compete at the highest level, something that I am not able to practise.

"The toughest thing for me today is honestly I start to feel myself play much better. I started the match playing much better. My practice was much better, the warmup, than the other day."

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