Ronnie O'Sullivan has been forced to pull out of next week's Shanghai Masters because of a back injury.
O'Sullivan has rarely fared well in Far East events in recent years
The world number five has been advised by his doctors not to play in the season's first ranking tournament.
"He's been told not to travel and that bending over a table will cause more damage," read a statement on O'Sullivan's website.
"The injury is not serious, but he must rest. He apologises to all those who were looking forward to seeing him."
The twice world champion, the pre-tournament favourite, was due to play Preston's Stuart Pettman or local wildcard Cao Kaisheng at the Grand Stage next Wednesday.
It would have been O'Sullivan's first match in a ranking event since he was fined a total of £21,000 for walking out of his best-of-17-frames UK Championship quarter-final trailing Stephen Hendry only 4-1 in York last December.
O'Sullivan, 31, previously withdrew from the 2005 China Open in Beijing with an undisclosed medical complaint and was drubbed 5-0 in the first round by James Wattana a year later.
Last season, he reached the semi-finals where eventual winner Graeme Dott beat him 6-2.