Britain’s Andy Murray has had hip surgery in Australia and is hoping to return to competitive tennis for this year’s grass court season.
The 30-year-old sportsman has not played competitively since being knocked out of Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage last July and was forced to pull out of the Australian Open which is due to start on 15 January.
The former world number one announced on his Facebook page that he underwent successful surgery to his right hip in Melbourne on Monday morning.
Murray said: “Today I underwent successful right hip surgery at the St Vincent Hospital in Melbourne.
“I’d like to thank Dr John O’Donnell and all of the staff for looking after me.
“I look forward to returning to competitive tennis during the grass court season.
“Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and support over the last few days. I’ll come back from this.”
Murray is no stranger to the doctor’s knife, having undergone surgery on his lower back at the end of 2013.
He recovered well following the operation and went on to win a second Wimbledon title in 2016.
However, in 2017 his hip injury became apparent at the French Open, and he was seen walking with a limp at Wimbledon.
Following his latest operation, his outlook seems hopeful, although he says he will now focus his attentions on winning big tournaments rather than concentrate on gaining ranking points.
“I’m very optimistic because, having spoken to the surgeon after he did the surgery, he was very happy about how it went,” world No 19 Murray said, quoted by several national newspapers.
“He felt that my hip will be feeling better than it did a year ago and, obviously, I was still doing fine a year ago, I was ranked number one in the world.
“Moving forward I’ll certainly be playing a reduced schedule, and then focusing more on trying to win major events and big tournaments rather than trying to achieve certain ranking goals.”
Murray also said he underwent some minor surgery on his groin on 18 December.
He concedes he may only ever reach 95% fitness but believes that would still be enough to challenge for Grand Slam titles.
Murray said: “I’ve been fairly competitive with top-50 players in the world practising in Brisbane when I was struggling to move.
“And I made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon when I literally couldn’t walk and was in so much pain.”
He added: “So if I can get myself to 95% of my best, I believe that’s enough to compete at the highest level. No question.”