Andy Murray faces another battle to prolong his career as he weighs up whether to go under the knife again.
Murray has not been seen on court since he battled through a gruelling Davis Cup tie against Holland in November because of a pelvic injury.
He’s since missed the ATP Cup, the Australian Open and pulled out of this month’s events in Montpellier and Rotterdam.
Twelve months ago Murray had just undergone hip resurfacing surgery to save his career and it appeared to have worked as he carefully managed his comeback, culminating in an emotional 46th career title at the European Open in Antwerp.
At the end of 2019, Murray gave the tennis world an insight into the mental and physical misery he went through in a soul-bearing documentary.
And he revealed his desperation to play his rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic again.
“Seeing what they are still doing is fantastic and hopefully I can try and get back on the court and have the chance to compete against them again before I finish,” Murray said.
“I guess seeing guys playing in their late 30s is a positive thing that you can look at and go it is possible to keep doing it and play at that level.”
However, Murray is now bracing himself for a fresh fight to save his career.
The three-time Grand Slam is back practising on the court after several weeks of rehab and work in the gym but faces a wait to learn whether he needs surgery because of heterotopic ossification (HO) – the formation of bone in the soft tissue close to the skeleton.
The bone has formed as a result of last year’s resurfacing surgery and Murray will find out whether he can play through the pain barrier or have another operation which could rule him out for several months and end any hopes of playing at Wimbledon this year.
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He said: “Hopefully the activity around this heterotopic ossification settles down. I’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. I might be playing in the next few weeks as well.
“This is just something that comes up which is extremely common in hip resurfacing, a traumatic kind of injury.
“If I have to have that removed because it is what is causing the problem, then that is a pain in the arse. That’s what I hope but over the last couple of years I have become quite pessimistic about time frames, issues and stuff because of what has gone on really and what has been said to me. I don’t want to say I will definitely be in Miami playing but there is also the possibility that I might have to have something done. We’ll just have to see.
“I should know by the end of next month whether I’m good to play or not with it. That’s what I have to wait for. And then the issue around that is if they can’t get to it with an arthroscope, which is obviously the hope, is that I would then have to be opened up again.
“That obviously takes longer to recover. It’s not like a major operation to have it removed but it’s just if they cannot get there with an arthroscope to remove it, that is the issue. How long would I be out for? I have no idea.”
But the dream of playing at the highest level and at the Tokyo Olympics will be the driving force behind Murray, irrespective of what he decides to do.
“I want to play in the Slams again,” he said. “That is the thing that I have missed over these last few years. Missing the Australian Open for me this year was rough. At the end of last season I was actually starting to play pretty well, I was feeling good and then this happened.
“I was not thinking that I was going to be missing Australia, so that was tough. I want to get back to playing in the Slams. That’s what excites me and interests me. Again there is no reason why I can’t. The thing for me that would be tough is if I would have to go ahead and have something done about this. It’s not that long an operation really in terms of the rehab and stuff.
“But it’s just if I wasn’t able to have it until May or whatever, with six to eight weeks rehab, then that would mean missing that period.”
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