Rib pain in tennis can be present due to injury from repeated loading of muscles. The muscle attachment on the rib can lead to a gradual bone reaction that can gradually worsen and progress into a fracture.
Examination will reveal pain with palpation over the affected area. There may be underlying shoulder weakness due to irritation of the tendons. Functional daily tasks may not be affected but activity will lead to an increase of the symptoms. Assessment including palpation as well as other tests and breathing techniques will help guide the clinical examination towards its diagnosis. Confirmed pathology will be under specific radiology with MRI that will reveal inflammation over the affected rib.
The management of the rib stress fracture includes initial rest from sporting activities with gradual strengthening of affected areas. Return to sport depends on the symptoms. In the interim, your physiotherapist would help correct muscular and structural issues that have potentially contributed to the pathology development.