The 28-year-old, who was due to lead Team Austria at the third edition of the ATP Cup, has not competed on Tour since June when he suffered a right wrist injury at the Mallorca Championships. Austria remains in the ATP Cup despite Thiem’s injury.
“After speaking to my team, we have decided to return to Austria, instead of flying directly to Australia,” Thiem wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, I caught a cold (and tested negative for Covid-19) while in Dubai and was unable to practise last week. I will therefore not be in the physical condition required to be able to play the ATP Cup and Sydney ATP 250.
“After not competing for the past six months, I can’t take the risk of coming back too soon and picking up a further injury… My aim is still to play the Australian Open but we will make a final decision about my participation by the end of December.”
Thiem went 9-9 on the season in 2021, with his best result a run to the semi-finals at the Mutua Madrid Open.