The world No.2 pulled out of this week’s Acapulco Open after suffering a reoccurrence of the right hip problem that forced him to retire during his Australian Open quarter-final clash with Marin Cilic.

It was always likely to be tough for Nadal to recover in time for the first Masters event of the year, and he will not seen again until the clay-court season commences in April.

The Spaniard has endured a torrid time with various physical issues recently. It’s been over five months since he lasted completed a tournament – the Shanghai Masters in October – and he faces yet more time on the sidelines.

“Unfortunately, the injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is in the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne,” said Nadal in a statement.

“I won’t be able to play in Miami or Indian Wells as I need to recover. It was very painful to retire from Acapulco and it’s very hard as well to not play in the USA. I will miss you and I will do everything that’s possible to be back there in 2019.”

It’s another blow for the tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka with both miss the sunshine double and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet have both announced they will miss Indian Wells.

It remains doubtful that Novak Djokovic will be involved in the action in Indian Wells, however he appears keen to make a welcome appearance at the Miami Open.