Mark Philippoussis was ruled out of Australia's Davis Cup quarterfinal against Germany starting Friday in Adelaide after he failed to recover from a calf muscle injury, Tennis Australia officials said Monday.
His singles spot is expected to be filled by either grass court specialist Wayne Arthurs, who made his Davis Cup debut in the semifinal against Russia last year, or former world No. 1 Pat Rafter, who is on the comeback from should surgery.
Germany was also depleted by injury when Tommy Haas, the nation's top Davis Cup player, withdrew from the squad due to a hip injury.
With top-ranked Nicolas Kiefer refusing to play Davis Cup, Germany called in Michael Kohlmann as Haas' replacement to join Rainer Schuettler, David Prinosil and Marc Goellner.
Philippoussis sustained his leg injury two weeks ago in Indian Wells, California, and has not responded to treatment since returning to Australia.
"It's unfortunate that Mark can't be here but we have to think long term, and it's important not to put him at risk this weekend," said Australian Davis Cup captain John Newcombe.
Newcombe said Arthurs and Rafter could share the singles duties.
"At the moment our thinking is that (Arthurs) will play the singles on the first day, (Rafter) will play doubles and we've got an option now under the new rules where (Rafter) could move in (for the reverse singles)," he said.
"It's not a bad back-up to have, having Pat Rafter in a back-up position."
Newcombe has until an hour before Thursday's draw to decide on his lineup.
He said a decision on whether or not to use Rafter in the reverse singles would hinge on how the two-time U.S. open champion fared in the doubles with veteran Mark Woodforde on Saturday.
"Let's say even if we've won the match, I'd like to see Pat play in the singles ... even if it is a dead tie."
Lleyton Hewitt will spearhead the singles for Australia after reaching the semifinals of the Ericsson Open in Florida over the weekend before losing to eventual titlist Pete Sampras.
Hewitt and Woodforde, who partnered Todd Woodbridge to win the doubles at the Ericsson Open, returned to Adelaide for practice later Monday.
Meanwhile, Newcombe said Germany's loss was Australia's gain.
The loss of Haas "certainly lessens their chances and does weaken them," he said, although he added that he didn't know enough about the German team to pinpoint who would pose the biggest threat to the home team.Reuse content