Written by By Staff Writer, CNN
World number one Novak Djokovic is looking “unlikely” to defend his Australian Open title next month after being diagnosed with an elbow injury, according to Australia’s sports minister Greg Hunt.
Speaking at a media conference on Wednesday, Hunt said: “We’ve been told it’s ‘a breakthrough,'” but he added that the Serbian tennis player’s medical team “has not yet made their recommendations yet” and that tournament officials “aren’t aware of a solution.”
Djokovic had been suffering with the injury for around a month and withdrew from Wimbledon. Last month, he underwent an MRI scan, reportedly finding that the injury was affecting the rotator cuff, a muscle that connects the shoulder to the back of the arm.
The Serb star has also slipped to seventh in the world after slipping to his lowest seeding ever in the Australian Open draw.
If he is unable to compete in Melbourne, the 31-year-old will likely be forced to rely on artificial blades instead of a traditional racket.
If those orthotics don’t work out, he will need to be vaccinated. Hunt offered to make a “presentation” of the vaccine to the athlete.
“I’ll be making a presentation to him about this,” he said. “Novak’s going to need to take the vaccine … any time a tennis player goes down to the doctor for an injury of that magnitude it’s really important to have it available to them.”
Djokovic himself tweeted that he “cannot deny the fact that my elbow is getting worse … in fact worse.”