Clay-court king Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the masters 1000 tennis events at Indian Wells and Miami because of injury.
The Spaniard has not competed since losing in the second round of the Australian Open last month and was expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks with a hip injury that hampered his defeat by Mackenzie Mcdonald.
The 22 time grand slam champion has been mostly limited to physio and gym work in recent weeks, but was able to begin a gradual return to the court on monday.
His next target is likely to be the Monte Carlo masters, where he is an 11-time champion.
The first major event of the European clay court season begins on April 9.