- British tennis player Andy Murray continues to suffer injury setbacks.
- The hip problem that has kept him sidelined for the last six months has seen him withdraw from the Australian Open.
- In an Instagram message to his supporters, Murray considers two options — further rehabilitation or surgery.
Former world number one male tennis player Andy Murray is at a career crossroads.
The 30-year-old Briton, who has not competed since Wimbledon last summer, has been forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International tournament and the Australian Open — the first tennis major of 2018.
"Sadly I won't be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete," Murray said in a short statement.
This is all because Murray is struggling to overcome a hip injury that has plagued him for six months. According to The Guardian's sports columnist Kevin Mitchell, his career "hangs in the balance."
In the six months since his shock Wimbledon loss to Sam Querrey, Murray has undergone rehabilitation on an "unspecified problem on his hip" and lost exhibition matches in uninspiring fashion. Last week, he lost 2-6 to Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi.
So what are Murray's options?
In an Instagram post Murray published this week, the Scot revealed two options he is facing.
"Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover," Murray wrote.
Another option is surgery, something he is loathe to do as it could call the curtain on his time spent competing at the elite level.
"Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as high as I would like, which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that," he went on.
Surgery would mean six months out of action
Speaking on Thursday after withdrawing from the Australian Open, Murray said: "I'll be flying home shortly to assess all the options but I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon."
If he does chose surgery he can expect six months out of action, according to The Telegraph.
Considering he has already been sidelined for six months, that would mean a year away from the sport, at best.
Murray once said he believed he could play at the elite level until he was 33. However, with surgery, he would not return to the court until he was 31. Even then, there are no guarantees he would ever rediscover his best form.
It is, perhaps, this recognition that led Murray to tell his Instagram followers: "I wanted to keep everyone in the loop and get this off my chest as it's really hurting inside."
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