**Updated Jan. 6, 2012
The 2012 season has barely begun but the injury count is piling up. So far, the list of players who will miss the pre-AO tournaments and/or the Oz Open, and the list of players who are currently facing an injury concern, are as follows (it’s not a complete list):
- Marin Cilic will miss the Chennai Open (where he is a 2-time champion) and is doubtful for the Australian Open, due to a knee (patella tendon) injury.
- Donald Young withdraws from the 2012 Brisbane Open for personal reasons. He is still reportedly confirmed for the Heineken Open.
- James Blake withdraws from the 2012 Brisbane Open and the Australian Open, citing personal reasons as well. Given his age and injury history, one can only hope (wishfully) that his upcoming wedding is the reason for his withdrawal.
- Kevin Anderson is out of Brisbane, following a knee injury.
- Paul Henri-Mathieu withdraws from the Oz Open, due to a lingering knee injury.
- Juan Monaco withdraws from Brisbane. He needs more time to recover from a DC-inflicted wrist injury.
- Tommy Haas withdraws from Brisbane, due to a right calf injury.
- Alex Bogomolov Jr. withdraws from Doha, following an ankle injury he sustained.
- Steve Darcis withdraws from the Chennai Open, due to a right shoulder injury.
- Blaz Kavcic withdraws from Sydney, due to a lingering leg injury.
- Tommy Robredo withdraws from Auckland, due to a leg injury.
- In an unlikely addition, Roger Federer withdraws from Doha, due to a back muscle injury. He strained it during his 2nd match, although he is still good for the Oz Open.
- Rafael Nadal is still confirmed for the Abu Dhabi exho, despite rumors of a shoulder problem. In an interview, Uncle Toni did mention the possibility that Rafa could retire from the Abu Dhabi exho (although if you read the linked article, the comments can be interpreted both ways).
- Also on the slightly injured list—David Nalbandian had to pull out of the Copa Peugeot exhibition tournament last week, because of a knee injury. However, he is still preparing/confirmed for the Oz Open.
- On a slightly odd note, Robin Haase withdraws from the Chennai Open, due to his problems with obtaining a visa. (Thanks to Queridorafa for the info!)
- On the WTA side, Venus Williams withdraws from the 2012 ASB Classic tournament. She is recovering from her recently diagnosed Sjogren’s Syndrome, though she is still confirmed for the Oz Open.
- British teenager Heather Watson is out of the ASB Classic with an ankle injury.
- Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the 2012 Brisbane Open with an ankle injury, although she expects to be ready for the Oz Open.
- Serena Williams withdraws from Brisbane, following a left ankle injury sustained during her R2 win over Bojana Jovanovski
- Sabine Lisicki withdraws from Auckland, due to a back injury.
- Kim Clijsters retires during her match against Daniela Hantuchova in Brisbane, following a hip injury she sustained during the match.
On the slightly bright side, Lleyton Hewitt confirms he is ready “to play through the pain barrier” at the 2012 Hopman Cup, APIA International Sydney tourny, and Oz Open. I can just picture Hewitt enunciating those words through gritted teeth—“to play through the pain barrier.” That’s so befitting of him to fight tooth and nail against the dreaded “R” word, even if it feels like more of a hopeless endeavor these days.
At this point, I don’t know if a longer off-season would have prevented the mounting list of withdrawals. Still, let’s hope for the sake of tennis that the injured and/or withdrawal list stops taking any more additions.