Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from January's Australian Open with a virus.
The Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday but said on his Facebook page doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever, telling him his body needed rest.
"My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing," he said.
However he confirmed he will miss his second Grand Slam in a row.
As my team and doctors say, the safest thing to do is to do things well and this virus has delayed my plans of playing these weeks. I will have to wait until the Acapulco tournament to compete again although I could consider to play before at any other ATP event
My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors, but this virus didn’t allow me to practice this past week and therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open, as we had initially scheduled.
Nadal, who won the French Open this year, has been out for seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.
The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold at the Olympics in London, where he was supposed to be Spain's flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
He also missed U.S. Open and Spain's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.