The 31-year-old, who was named Australia's joint NRL Player of the Year, has revealed that he had no choice but to withdraw from the six-week tournament in Brisbane.
"It was a really difficult decision to have to make but in the end, the doctor really took it out of my hands when I saw him yesterday," Thurston said in a statement.
"You never want to miss playing rep footy, and I'm very proud of my record in that area, but this time there's no other option. I'd like to wish the Kangaroos all the best for the Four Nations. I'll definitely be watching every match they play and cheering them on."
England, New Zealand and Samoa will join Australia in the tournament, which gets underway on October 25.