Spain's 2013 Davis Cup hopes, already hit by Rafael Nadal's injury-hit absence, were dealt another blow on Saturday when world number five David Ferrer said he would skip the opening tie of the season against Canada.
Ferrer's agent, Albert Molina, confirmed that the 30-year-old would sit out the February 1-3 World Group visit to Vancouver.
"It's purely a schedule thing. He's playing in Doha and Auckland and then the Australian Open, so he can't go all the way to Canada after that", Molina told www.marca.com.
"He will only miss the match against Canada. It's worth remembering that David has only had five days of holiday this year, so he's shattered. He needs to start taking care of himself."
Five-time champions Spain, runners-up to the Czech Republic this season, will be without world number four Nadal, who has been sidelined since June with a knee injury.
The 11-time Grand Slam title winner was due to return to action in the Gulf this week but announced on Friday that a stomach virus would keep him out of the Australian Open.
Nadal plans to return to the tour at the Acapulco claycourt tournament from November 27.