Williams pulled out of last week's Paris Open with the problem, which has bothered her since the Australian Open, where she lost to Maria Sharapova in the third round.
She is also missing for the United States' Fed Cup match against Italy.
Andrea Hlavackova takes her place in Qatar, where sister Serena is scheduled to play and Victoria Azarenka is top seed.
- Sports & Recreation
- Maria Sharapova
- Andrea Hlavackova