Kei Nishikori pulled out of the 2017 Western & Southern Open earlier this week. On Wednesday, the Japanese star extended his non-involvement in tournaments right to the end of the 2017 calendar season. He joins Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic as players that will not return to tour in 2018. Nishikori's manager released a statement on the matter, one that has been quoted at the ATP's website. The problem with Nishikori has to do with his wrist. He joins Milos Raonic as a player with an injury to that part of the body at the moment.

“Two days ago during practice in Cincinnati," the manager's statement read, "Kei hit a serve and heard a 'pop' in his wrist.

We went straight to the hospital....we have sent MRI results to three other wrist specialists...After consulting with all of them," the statement continued, "it has become clear that Kei has a tear in one of the tendons in the right wrist....Kei will withdraw from all the 2017 tournaments and work hard to be ready for next year."

Nishikori projects to fall out of top 20

Nishikori went 30-13 in 2017 without claiming any titles. At the age of 27, he could be viewed as a player in the mid-to-late career stages on ATP Tour. He appeared to be a player that would benefit from all the mishaps that have affected top players of late. That is especially the case given that Nishikori has a penchant for hard-court tournaments. Besides making the US Open final in 2014, Nishikori has also performed well in the Asian hard-court swing in the past.

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He has been ranked in the top ten since September of 2014. That is a streak of weeks that will come to an end due his withdrawal from the remainder of the season. On year-to-date rankings Nishikori sat 13th in the standings according to the ATP's Race to London page. With a total of 1885 points this season, Nishikori will likely finish the 2017 season ranked about 22nd or 23rd in the world. As a high-ranked Japanese national, the tour will miss a key player in the post-US Open period of the season. At that time, there are numerous stops in Asia, including in China and Japan, ahead of Paris and the London tour finals. Nishikori has often been a major draw at ATP Tokyo, a 500-series event on tour in the fall.

Look for Nishikori in Brisbane and/or Melbourne

There has been no word on when Nishikori will be ready for action. However being ready for 2018 loosely means be ready for the 2018 Australian Open in January. Nishikori usually starts the season in Brisbane so whether or not he is in that draw in early 2018 will be telling for fans. To start the 2017 season, Nishikori made the Brisbane final, losing to Grigor Dimitrov. The Japanese player has gone to the venue at numerous other times in his career as well.