Injury curse strikes unlucky Kokkinakis again
TENNIS: Thanasi Kokkinakis' injury curse has struck again, ruling the talented South Australian out of next week's Davis Cup tie with Germany in Brisbane.
Kokkinakis tore a pectoral muscle during first-round Australian Open defeat to Russian Daniil Medvedev.
"I haven't picked up a racquet since so it's pretty conclusive I'm out," Kokkinakis said.
"I'm not sure what the timeline is on when I can play again, but I don't want to risk rushing it.
Kokkinakis, 21, has been haunted by injury throughout his young career and his unavailability robs Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt of a possible Cup option.
Hewitt is on Wednesday expected to name a squad up of to six players - Nick Kyrgios, Matt Ebden, Jordan Thompson, John Millman, John Peers and Alex De Minaur.
With Kyrgios the stand-out singles spearhead, Hewitt is likely to rely upon practice match form to decide the second singles spot.
Ebden mounts a strong case for a recall after his rise from around No 600 in the world to No 78 - and his excellent Australian Open win over world No 16 John Isner.
Similarly, Millman has claims following his fine victory over Croat Borna Coric.
Thompson, though struggling for form this season, has excelled in Cup play previously and then there is rapidly emerging De Minaur, who has soared 81 places to a career-high No 127.
The Sydney teeanger has toppled Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic, former world No 7 Fernando Verdasco and ex-world No 12 Feliciano Lopez already this summer.
Germany is expected to be led by brothers Alexander and Mischa Zverev, Jan Lennard Struff, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Peter Gojowczyk.
Hewitt's team last season reached the world group semi-finals, falling 2-3 to Belgium after leading 2-1.
With Bernard Tomic still unavailable and Sam Groth to retire after the Australian Open, Hewitt has still enviable options for Friday week's tie at Pat Rafter Arena.
Under new Cup rules, competing nations are now able to name five players - instead of four - in their final teams.