Metal hip gives Andy Murray hope he could return after all

Andy Murray has not ruled out playing at Wimbledon this summer but will only take to the courts at the All England Club if he feels completely ready.

Andy Murray poses during the Castore partnership announcement at the Queen's Club, London. (Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire)

The two-time Wimbledon champion was speaking at Queen’s Club five weeks after his hip resurfacing operation at the launch of a long-term partnership with British clothing brand Castore. Murray said: “It’s possible. In terms of time-frame, I don’t want (to set) a definitive time to try to rush back. This is a big surgery and operation that I’ve had. I need to be smart with that and see how it progresses. So far, it’s been good.

“The main reason for me having the operation was to not be in pain anymore, and I’m not. I’m delighted with that. What happens next, I don’t know exactly. I will do the best I can and see what is possible.

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“If I could play at Wimbledon, I would love to. Of course it is my favourite tournament to play. But I would hate to go on the court at Wimbledon and for something bad to happen. Or to feel really bad and apprehensive and for it to go really badly.”

Andy Murray has not ruled out returning for Wimbledon (Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Murray laid bare his struggles at a tearful press conference ahead of the Australian Open in January, announcing he was planning to retire after this summer’s Wimbledon but that the Melbourne tournament might be the last of his career.

That may yet turn out to be the case but Murray, who has been battling the problem since the summer of 2017, will attempt to break new ground by returning to top-level singles action with a metal hip.

He had a first operation in January 2018 and returned to action at Queen’s Club last summer but played only six tournaments last season and was in pain throughout.

He is still limping and part of a daily five-hour rehab schedule is walking on an anti-gravity treadmill to try to erase that from his gait. Attempting to improve his range of movement, which he described as “quite uncomfortable”, is central to the process.

He is hoping to begin hitting balls on court from a stationary position in four weeks’ time and expects to know at the end of May – when he can attempt high-impact exercise – whether his intention to return to professional tennis will be possible.

He said: “If I am much slower than I was, let’s say, in Australia, I am not just going to go and play if I can’t move properly. I want to be able to run around like I used to.”