Alexander Zverev has revealed he will miss the Davis Cup after another injury setback.
The German suffered ligament damage requiring surgery after rolling is right ankle in his French Open semi-final match against Rafael Nadal earlier this year.
The 25-year-old has been out of action since. However, having stepped up his training recently, was expected to represent Germany as they welcomed France, Australia and Belgium to Hamburg.
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But in his side’s pre-tournament press conference, Zverev explained he had a bone injury that "causes him a lot of pain" and expected to be out for ‘weeks or months not days’.
"I am very disappointed to miss out on playing this week," he said. "It was a massive goal for me to play here because it is my hometown and a I know the stadium very well.
"I have a bone edema issue which causes me quite a lot of pain. I don't know if it happened yesterday or not but yesterday in practice with Oscar [Otte] it got to the point where I couldn't run or walk anymore.
"I subsequently found out that it was a bone edema, which means I wont be able to participate here and it is not a question of days, it is more a question of weeks or most likely even months."
Yannick Hanfmann takes Zverev's place in the team says Germany's Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann.
"The fact that Alexander cannot play is very painful for him as well as for us," said Kohlmann. "He is a player who makes the difference and his withdrawal will make it harder for us to reach the final in Malaga. However, I am convinced that the team will now be even closer together and will also be able to compensate for his absence with Alexander's support on the ground.
"Yannick's willingness to step in immediately shows what great cohesion there is in this team,"
Image credit: Getty Images
Zverev fell awkwardly during his match against Nadal in May, with the severity of the injury highlighted by the fact he required a wheelchair to leave Court Philippe-Chatrier.
It was later revealed that he had torn multiple ligaments in his ankle and underwent surgery days later.
The injury ruled him out of both Wimbledon and the US Open although he had hoped to be back in action before the end of the season.
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