Bernard Tomic admits he's in serious doubt for Australia's most important Davis Cup tie in years after scans confirmed he has a groin muscle tear.
Tomic's doctor on Wednesday said the injury would keep him off the court for one to three weeks, leaving the 21-year-old in a race against the clock to be fit for Australia's first-round Cup clash with France starting on January 31.
It is Australia's first World Group tie since 2007.
Tomic was forced to quit after just one set of his first-round Australian Open showdown with Rafael Nadal on Tuesday night and says the setback is a major blow to Australia's Cup hopes.
Australian captain Pat Rafter - who played doubles at the Open on Wednesday with long-time team spearhead Lleyton Hewitt - is sweating on Tomic's availability for the challenging indoor claycourt tie in La Roche sur Yon, western France.
But Tomic was offering no guarantees.
"Right now (I'm) probably not looking good, which is a shame," he said.
"It's a very important tie for us. We've got to take on (Richard) Gasquet and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga on clay.
"And if I'm not ready for the Davis Cup, it's going to be very difficult for us.
"So I have to treat it as much as I can."
Without Tomic, who was unbeaten in four Davis Cup singles rubbers in 2013, all played indoors on clay, Rafter would have to choose between Australian No.2 Marinko Matosevic or exciting youngsters Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are both through to the second round of the Australian Open, but Rafter said the teenagers were a "few years off" being ready for Davis Cup singles duties, especially against top-10 rivals.
"If I'm not on the team, obviously Marinko is going to probably have to step up and play," Tomic said.
"His Davis Cup record isn't that great, but he's going to have to change and work hard the next few weeks.
"But I will find out in the next five, six days."
Rafter said the Australians needed to sit down as a team to weigh up their options.
"We have a few options, but nothing we really want to talk about just yet," Rafter said after he and Hewitt lost 6-4 7-5 to American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen on Wednesday night.
"We're keeping it pretty close to ourselves within our camp.
"But if Bernie thinks he's gone for a couple of weeks and the doctors think that, we can't risk taking him."
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