Thanasi Kokkinakis has appeared on crutches with a brace on his left knee in Monte Carlo, one day after suffering an unlucky fall at the end of the court in a first-round loss to Karen Khachanov.
The world No.38 Khachanov won 7-5 6-4 and it was a day to forget for his Australian opponent.
On a crucial point in what proved to be the final game of the first set, Kokkinakis stumbled over a piece of advertisement padding and crashed to the ground.
Khachanov was allowed an easy forehand to win the point and took the set moments later.
Kokkinakis appeared humoured by the incident, kicking the pad as he stood up, and it seemed he was lucky to escape injury as he played out the match.
But tennis fans have since spotted the Australian on crutches at the Monte Carlo Country Club complex, with a black knee brace visible.
Kokkinakis, who turned 22 last week, has since confirmed the injury occurred in the fall:
The exact injury or timeline is yet to be confirmed but the unfortunate knee problem comes as the popular player continued to put a wretched injury run behind him.
Yes— Thanasi Kokkinakis (@TKokkinakis) April 16, 2018
The Monte Carlo Masters was his sixth tournament of 2018, just two fewer than he managed for all of 2016 and 2017 due to shoulder, groin and pectoral injuries.
He is currently scheduled to take part in qualifying for the Istanbul Open at the end of the month, though his participation in Turkey – and perhaps even the French Open next month – must be in some doubt.
Kokkinakis has already called on the ATP to move the advertising pads.
His fall followed a similar incident involving Belgian star David Goffin at the French Open last year.
With tennis on all courts featuring more play deep in the court, Goffin found himself sliding into a tarp and crashing into the wall.
He badly rolled his ankle and missed a month of action recovering from the injury.