Andy Murray was set for a farewell six months, but hip resurfacing surgery has offered him a chance to prolong his career.
The two-time Wimbledon champion had emotionally announced he was in too much pain to carry on in the build up to the Australian Open.
But after a monumental five-set tussle with Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, where Murray showed he still has the ability and desire to compete at the top level, he said he would do everything he could to keep playing.
- Murray undergoes hip surgery
Now having undergone surgery, it all means he is highly unlikely be fit to take part at Wimbledon this summer, where he had planned to say goodbye to the sport, but it may allow him to return to the court in the future.
I underwent a hip resurfacing surgery in London yesterday morning…feeling a bit battered and bruised just now but hopefully that will be the end of my hip pain ? I now have a metal hip as you can see in the 2nd photo ?? and I look like I've got a bit of a gut in photo 1?
A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on
“I have a metal hip. Feeling a bit battered and bruised but hopefully that will be the end of my hip pain,” posted Murray on his Instagram account.
Has he played the last game of his glittering career? Murray will now undergo more rehabilitation to see if he can play again.
What is hip resurfacing?
In a traditional total hip replacement, the head of the thighbone (femoral head) and the damaged socket (acetabulum) are both removed and replaced with metal, plastic, or ceramic components.
In hip resurfacing, the femoral head is not removed, but is instead trimmed and capped with a smooth metal covering.
It is the second round of surgery on the troublesome joint, 12 months after the first one, which did not solve the issue.
Murray made a long-awaited comeback at Queen’s last summer but pulled out of Wimbledon and played just 15 matches since returning to action.
- How Murray beat the best
It was hoped an extensive rehabilitation period in Philadelphia, followed by a gruelling pre-season stint in Miami might prove the answer, but Murray was still in significant pain on the court.
American doubles specialist Bob Bryan, who has just returned to the game following the same procedure last summer, has been in constant dialogue with Murray and may have inspired the Scot to undergo hip resurfacing surgery where he had a metal joint implanted.
“He’s been watching me like a hawk, asking me how I’m feeling after matches, after practices, where I’m at. He’s just trying to gauge how long it would take him, if this procedure is an option,” Bryan said about Murray.
“I’m just trying to be supportive. I never once told him, ‘This is the way to go,’ because I do see that singles is a different monster. Those guys are really sliding around, killing themselves for four hours. Who knows if this joint would hold up?”
It is advised that during the first year after surgery, all impact activities and heavy lifting are avoided as this is the time frame when the bone holding the implant is most susceptible to fracture.
- Murray’s injury timeline
Typically, patients are told to avoid running, jumping, and lifting for the first 12 months after this type of surgery, but as a professional sportsman, Murray has proven to be a quick healer and with the best support and medical assistance, he could be back in rehab within a couple of months.
The 31-year-old will hope to maximise his chances of the best outcome, be that enjoying his retirement from a glittering career which includes three Grand Slam titles, 45 singles career titles, two Olympic gold medals, and year-end world No 1, or like Bryan, making another return to the game he so dearly loves.
Stephen Farrow, tournament director of the Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, is hopeful that former champion Murray might yet return.
“Andy is our greatest champion, lifting our iconic trophy a record five times and providing countless special memories for our spectators over the last 14 years, including the Queen’s-Wimbledon double in 2013 and 2016.
“Andy has a career-long commitment to play at the Fever-Tree Championships, and we hope that he is fit enough to join what will be a world-class line-up of players in June. Whatever happens, we are right behind him as he rehabilitates from surgery, and wish him nothing but the best.”
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