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Nadal out of Indian Wells and Miami, already practicing on clay

As expected, Rafael Nadal is out of the Sunshine Double–Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Nadal dealt with a hip injury during an Australian Open second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald and the timetable for his return made his status for both the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open questionable at best. Last week the 22-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from this weekend’s scheduled exhibition in Las Vegas with Carlos Alcaraz, which all but confirmed his exit from Indian Wells and Miami. On Tuesday he made it official.

“I am sad that I won’t be able to compete at Indian Wells nor Miami,” Nadal posted on social media. “Very sad not to be there. I’ll miss all my U.S. fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”

The 36-year-old Spaniard added that he has started “rehab, gym and physiotherapy as instructed by the doctors” so that he can “come back in the best conditions.”

Nadal was also seen practicing at his home in Mallorca earlier this week, so that is the good news. The fact that he was already training on clay earlier this week was a sure sign that he would not be playing in either Indian Wells or Miami. In all likelihood his next appearance will come at the Monte-Carlo Masters in April.

“We wish Rafa continued healing and hope to see him back at the BNP Paribas Open next year,” said Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.