Nadal out for a month


MADRID, January 29- Rafael Nadal will miss at least four weeks of competition due to the knee injury that forced him out of the Australian Open, his agent announced Friday.Doctors recommended the Spaniard take two weeks and rest and recovery, after he underwent an MRI scan on Thursday in Barcelona that revealed a hamstring injury in his right knee.

"Once this period is over and according to the results … he will progressively return to sporting activity," the agent said in a statement.

"The total time for his recovery is estimated at four weeks."

The mercurial Spaniard limped out of an engrossing Australian Open quarter-final on Tuesday with rising British star Andy Murray early in the third set, trailing by two sets.

He will now miss the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam that starts on February 8.

But he could be fit for Spain’s Davis Cup match against Switzerland on March 5-7 and the Indian Wells tournament, which starts on March 11.

"I’m not pleased about missing the Rotterdam tournament. I would have liked to win the title after coming very close last year," Nadal was quoted as saying in the statement.

"I know that this injury is not the same as the one I suffered last year," he said.

But he said he is not concerned losing his place as world number two.

"It’s normal, the most important is that I recover my game."

Nadal was forced to withdraw from last year’s Wimbledon where he was defending champion with tendinitis in both knees after his 31-match winning streak at the French Open was ended by Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round.

He was also sidelined for nine weeks and after resuming, suffered an abdominal injury and played with it at the US Open where he reached the semi-finals.