Czech Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek will miss the 2013 opening-round World Group tie against Switzerland in Geneva this week due to a back injury.
"I cannot take part with the guys, unfortunately I have a problem with my disc that I have to have an operation on," the 34-year-old Stepanek said in a video on the team's Facebook page.
Stepanek won the dramatic fifth and deciding rubber in last year's Davis Cup final between the Czech Republic and Spain in Prague. It marked the first-ever such championship for the Czech Republic as an independent nation.
Lukas Rosol is expected to move up to the number two spot in place of Stepanek on the Czech roster, which is spearheaded by sixth-ranked former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.
The Swiss team, which will be led by world No. 17 Stan Wawrinka, will play this week without superstar Roger Federer.
The Czechs are 6-2 all-time against Switzerland in Davis Cup play.