Spain's Rafael Nadal leaves after a press during the Mexico Open in Acapulco, Guerrero state on February 27, 2018.World number two Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Mexican Open on Tuesday, cutting short his comeback from a hip injury when the problem flared up again, he told a press conference. AFP PHOTO

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments after aggravating the leg injury that forced him out of the Australian Open in January, the Spanish world number two said on Friday.

Nadal, a three-times winner at Indian Wells and five-times finalist at Miami, suffered his latest setback during a training session on Tuesday that forced him to pull out of this week’s Mexican Open in Acapulco.

“Unfortunately, the injury I suffered in Acapulco before starting the tournament is in the same area as the one suffered in Melbourne,” Nadal said on his Facebook page. “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.”

This marks the latest setback for the 31-year-old Spaniard, who has not competed since retiring from his quarter-final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic in Melbourne and recently lost the world number one ranking to Roger Federer.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells begins next week while the Miami Open follows two weeks later.

Nadal is the second high-profile player in as many days to withdraw from the tournaments as former world number three Stan Wawrinka said his recovery from a persistent knee injury would keep him from competing at both events. --Reuters

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