Prague - Veteran Radek Stepanek has withdrawn from next week's Davis Cup tie between defending champions the Czech Republic and Switzerland because of back pain, team captain Jaroslav Navratil announced Sunday.
The 34-year-old - who will undergo an operation next week - has been replaced by world No 189 Ivo Minar for the trip to Geneva where they meet a Swiss side who will be without former world No 1 Roger Federer.
"Radek's health is the priority," said Navratil. "I hope we win the match anyway."
The Czech team will be headed by world No 6 Tomas Berdych with Lukas Rosol - the conqueror of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last year - Minar and Jiri Vesely making up the rest of the team.
The Czechs won the Davis Cup beating Spain 3-2 in the final in Prague last November.