Heather Watson has glandular fever

  • Last Updated: April 3 2013, 16:50 BST

British star Heather Watson is facing a spell on the sidelines after being diagnosed with glandular fever.

Heather Watson: Says she is 'relieved' to know what has been wrong
Heather Watson: Says she is 'relieved' to know what has been wrong

The current British number one has been ordered to rest by doctors and now looks set to miss Great Britain's Fed Cup tie in Argentina later this month.

Watson complained a feeling "burnt out" in Miami recently and subsequent blood tests revealed her condition.

It is not known how long she will be out but the condition has kept players off court for considerable periods in the past. Men's star Robin Soderling was diagnosed with the illness in 2011 and has not played since.

Watson, who has won only three matches since reaching the third round of the Australian Open in January, told the official LTA website: "I had to do some blood tests after Miami and the results have shown that I have traces of glandular fever in my system.

"There is no prescription for this other than complete rest but the good news is that the doctors have told me I am at the tail end of the fever. This means I have been trying to compete through the symptoms for some time.

"I have been struggling with both training and playing matches and felt so tired and exhausted for months but now that the doctors have found the cause of this, it explains everything that has been happening to me physically and mentally.

"I am actually relieved to know what is wrong so that I can get myself on the mend.

"I hope to recover as soon as possible by resting my body and getting lots of sleep. I already feel better from being at home for a week, and am looking forward to getting back on tour soon."

Iain Bates, the LTA's head of women's tennis, said: "We all know she'll bounce back better than ever.

"Heather's focus will be on her recovery, and we will do whatever we can to support Heather and help that process."

Watson, currently ranked 40th in the world, will lose her British number one status to Laura Robson on Monday.

Robson now faces the prospect of carrying British hopes into their Fed Cup tie on April 20-21.

Watson's absence from that match leaves the door open for Elena Baltacha to return to the team. She makes her return to action after an eight-month injury lay-off in Alabama next week.

Captain Judy Murray has until April 10 to announce her side.

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