Clijsters rolled her ankle during her fourth round victory over Li Na at the Australian Open, but played through it and eventually fell in the semifinals to Victoria Azarenka. Clijsters was the defending champion in Melbourne.
"I'm very disappointed that my ankle injury is preventing me from playing the BNP Paribas Open this year," the four-time Grand Slam champion wrote on her official website. "Indian Wells has been a very special tournament for me, winning in 2003 and again in 2005 when I returned from injury.
"I have great memories of Indian Wells and have always enjoyed the fan support there. I wish the tournament a great success this year."
Clijsters has a 24-5 career record at Indian Wells, winning the aforementioned titles in 2003 and 2005 (beating Lindsay Davenport in both finals) and reaching another final in 2001 (falling to Serena Williams). She has fallen early in both attempts since coming back though, third round 2010 and fourth round 2011.
The Sony Ericsson Open in Miami will be Clijsters' next tournament. She is a two-time champion there as well, winning it in 2005 (beating Maria Sharapova in the final) and 2010 (beating Venus Williams in the final).