Lee Chong Wei is showing no signs of an imminent return after not being included in the Malaysia squad for the 2019 Sudirman Cup taking place in Nanning, China, next month.
The non-involvement of the 36-year-old, who last played competitively at the Indonesian Open in July last year, was confirmed by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Wednesday.
In his absence, the men's singles challenge would be shouldered by Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei and Soong Joo Ven.
It is a blow not only for the national team but also Lee himself, who is running out of time to return to full fitness and qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
After recovering from nose cancer, he was initially scheduled to take part at the Malaysian Open earlier this month but opted to pull out on his doctor's advice.
For the 2019 Sudirman Cup, Malaysia are in the same group as 10-time winners China and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallists India.
Only the top two of each group advance to the knockout stage.
Malaysia have yet to emerge victorious at the world mixed team badminton championship since its inception in 1989, with them reaching the semi-finals in 2009 being their best finish to date.
In the 2017 edition, they were knocked out by Japan in the quarter-finals.