Some doubt has been cast over Rafael Nadal's participation in next month's Australian Open.
The world men's tennis number one has pulled out of the leadup events in Brisbane and Sydney.
Nadal hasn't played since losing to David Goffin at the World Tour Finals in London and then immediately pulling out of the season-ending championships in mid-November because of a knee injury.
The Spaniard was scheduled to return to the court at the season-opening Brisbane International starting on Saturday.
Nadal tweeted, "I am sorry to announce I won't be coming to Brisbane this year. My intention was to play but I am still not ready after last year's long season and the late start of my preparation. I had a great time there and it was a great start to the month I spent in Australia."
"I will be seeing my Aussie fans when I land on the 4th in Melbourne and start there my preparation for the Australian Open."
Nadal won 6 titles this year including the French Open and US Open.
Serious concerns over his fitness first surfaced last week when he cancelled a planned training block in Majorca with Portuguese player Joao Sousa.
Nadal may not be the only high-profile scratching from the Brisbane International, with five-times Open runner-up Andy Murray having delayed his planned Christmas arrival to Australia because of his chronic hip injury.