Rafael Nadal will miss the Australian Open this month after the Spaniard suffered a small muscle tear during his comeback from a long injury layoff at the Brisbane International last week, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said on Sunday.

Nadal made his long-awaited comeback in Brisbane after spending almost a year on the sidelines with a hip flexor injury sustained during his second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald in last year's Australian Open.

The 37-year-old did not compete again last season after undergoing surgery in June and sustained an upper left leg issue during his defeat against Jordan Thompson in the quarterfinals of the tune-up event for the Jan. 14-28 Melbourne Park major.

"During my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried," Nadal said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

"Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that's good news.

"Right now I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of exigence in five sets matches. I'm flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest."

Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and 2022.