Rafael Nadal will miss the ATP 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, the 22-time Grand Slam champion confirmed on social media on Tuesday.
“I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami,” Nadal said in a tweet which came after Indian Wells officials announced he had withdrawn from the tournament in the California desert that starts next week.
“Very sad not to be there. I’ll miss all my US fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”
The news comes after the Spaniard said in late January he expected to miss six to eight weeks with the hip flexor injury he sustained at the Australian Open.
“We wish Rafa continued healing, and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year,” Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas said in a statement.
Nadal, who said on January 26 that tests had confirmed a moderate muscle tear in his left hip, posted video on Twitter showing him training in the gym.
“Took my time off, started rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors,” he said. “Getting ready to come back the in the best conditions.”
That likely means for the clay-court season that starts in mid-April and leads into Roland Garros, where he would be chasing a 15th French Open title in May.
Nadal, who made history as the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2022 Australian Open, hobbled out of this year’s edition in January after just two matches.
He said in Melbourne he had had the problem for “a couple of days” but at that point had not received a diagnosis.
Nadal, whose stellar career has been marked by injuries, was adamant that he would continue playing.
Last year Nadal was undefeated heading into Indian Wells, having posted victories in an Australian Open tune-up in Melbourne before rallying from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final.
He won the ATP tournament in Acapulco and reached the final at Indian Wells, where he was stunned by American Taylor Fritz in the final as he battled a rib injury.
He returned to win his 22nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, a record that Novak Djokovic has since matched.