‘I have become quite pessimistic about time frames’: Andy Murray at risk of missing Wimbledon as he waits to see if he requires THIRD hip operation
- Andy Murray has not played since suffering from pelvic bruising in November
- He has been practising on court and could play at the Miami Open next month
- But 32-year-old has been hampered by discomfort from his second hip surgery
- If he requires a third op, then it would jeopardise the grass court season in June
Andy Murray has admitted his dream of returning to Wimbledon this year is in the balance after he suffered further complications from hip surgery.
Yet the twice champion at SW19 is adamant that he will keep fighting to realise that ambition, and insists that in a best case scenario he could even be back playing tournaments a month from now.
After keeping his own counsel since pulling out of the Australian Open just after Christmas, the 32-year-old Scot on Tuesday gave his first detailed update on the problems that have quashed the heartening recovery seen in the autumn.
Andy Murray has spoken about the problems that have quashed his heartening recovery
EIGHT OUT OF 10
Murray has missed eight of the last 10 Grand Slam men’s singles events. His last appearance was at the 2019 Australian Open, where he was beaten in the first round.
On the positive side he returned late last week to practising on court again. More concerning is the admission that natural extra bone growth resulting from his second operation 13 months ago has been causing discomfort.
If a third surgical procedure is required to remove it, then that would jeopardise the grass court season in June.
He did not rule out playing in the Miami Open next month, or in the clay court events that follow: ‘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 and what has been said to me,’ he summarised.
Small wonder that he has had to become psychologically attuned to setbacks, this process having gone on since Wimbledon 2017.
Murray has not played yet this year after suffering from pelvic bruising in November
His triumph at the European Open in Antwerp on October 20 seems an age ago. Since then he has reluctantly expanded his knowledge bank on the hip area, and he referred to the ‘heterotopic ossification’ that has been troubling him around the pelvic area.
He may not know until early summer whether or not it will require further attention from his surgeon.
‘If I wasn’t able to have it until May or whatever, with six to eight weeks rehab, then that would mean missing that (grass court) period,’ said Murray after a hit on Tuesday at Roehampton’s National Tennis Centre.
‘But hopefully the activity around this settles down. If I have to have that removed because it is what is causing the problem, then that is a pain in the arse.
The two-time champion has admitted his dream of returning to Wimbledon is in the balance
‘I want to play in the Slams again. 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 don’t want to say I will definitely be in Miami playing – there is also the possibility I might have to have something done.’
Murray has kept up the mind-numbing business of repetitive rehab and fitness work in order to be ready to go, if – and there must be an if – and when he gets the all clear.
‘I do want to keep playing. It’s just whether I’m able to or not is the question,’ he said. ‘Right now if you watch my session today, I’m fine.. But there’s a difference between what I’m doing today and playing high level tennis.’
Murray won the doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships in 2019 alongside Feliciano Lopez
He described his whole situation as ‘unbelievably complex’. ‘Because of the hip and the metal in the hip, it is extremely difficult to get a clear diagnosis because the metal on the scan makes it extremely difficult to read them.
‘I started practising again a few days ago, been doing some running and just trying to build up to see what happens. I will really test the hip out. Hopefully it responds fine. But if it doesn’t, then I need to potentially have that (bone growth) removed. I should know by the end of next month whether I’m good to play or not with it.
‘There’s no reason not to because I don’t have an injury as such. If this is what the issue is, then it’s a calcification, an impingement. It’s just whether that settles with time and the body gets used to it and whether you are able to manage it when playing.’
Offers of wildcards will be forthcoming if all goes well, and even if Miami proves optimistic there is the like of the Monte Carlo Open to follow. ‘In many ways, the clay should actually be better for a metal joint because it is softer impact wise,’ he said.
Seeing will be believing but, as ever, Murray will not die wondering whether he worked himself enough – in this case to try and squeeze a final chapter out of his career.