Three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka will not play in the ATP Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami as he continues to recover from knee surgery.
The 32-year-old Swiss retired from his Provence Open match against Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka last week, only his fourth tournament since Wimbledon last year.
He missed the rest of the 2017 season after having surgery in August.
“I need to be patient and give my body the time it needs, but my goal is to come back on the clay,” he said.
The clay-court season begins next month after Indian Wells and Miami, culminating with the French Open at Roland Garros – where Wawrinka won the title in 2015 and reached the final last year – between 27 May and 10 June.
“Coming back from a big surgery is complicated and after having played a few tournaments I have discussed with my team that it is best for me to build on the progress and go back to practice,” said Wawrinka, whose other Grand Slam wins came at the 2014 Australian Open and 2016 US Open.
“I’m working hard on and off court and hope to be back within a few weeks.”
The tournament in Indian Wells starts on Monday, followed by the Miami event from 19 March.
Both hard-court tournaments are Masters 1000 events – the highest-tiered tournaments on the ATP Tour after the Grand Slams and ATP Finals.