When Andy Murray tearfully announced that he would retire at Wimbledon, it looked like the end of his 14-year career. The Brit has been troubled for years with a hip problem and looks to have forced Murray into early retirement.
The 31-year-old three-time Grand Slam winner was visibly upset when he made the announcement, and acknowledged that he may not even make it to The Championships. After an emotional match against Roberto Bautista Agut, Murray seemed to indicate he was not finished.
During the on court interview the Brit said, “If this was my last match, an amazing match to end.” The keyword in the sentence being the word “if.” Despite the Australian Open playing a montage of tributes, the former World No. 1 appeared uncertain that it was the end.
What happens next?
This is actually unclear. The Brit has been quizzing Bob Bryan about his own hip surgery. The American had the same operation the Brit is contemplating. Bryan has been able to recover and return to competitive tennis, albeit in doubles.
Bryan also advised Murray to speak to his surgeon Dr. Edwin Su, and the Brit is believed to have consulted Su whilst still in Australia. The surgeon himself has spoken about Murray publicly.
“I think it would absolutely be able to help him” Su stated, adding, “Ideally, it is with no pain. Most of the time, right away from the time they wake up from the surgery, patients say that the pain is gone.
“It is really miraculous. There is then healing and soft-tissue pain but, once they start feeling better, they are able to do the things they used to do. They can regain their normal life.
“What is unknown in elite athletes is whether they can return to sport. There is no guarantee in any medical procedure but given he has been able to continue his performance at such a high level with a bad hip, I would guess the new hip would function better.
“I believe it could get him back to the top level. It does raise the question of whether or not that level of activity would affect the implant’s longevity.
“‘In our experience it doesn’t seem to. Some of my patients have done ultra-marathons with 15,000 miles on the new hip.”
Can Murray make a comeback?
The unknown factor is that the Brit plays singles. As Dr. Su says, it is unknown if the high impact of singles tennis would effect the longevity of the hip. Bryan, as a doubles specialist, doesn’t have the same forces acting on the hip.
This has never been achieved before, so it is uncharted territory. Murray, however is not to be written off. The Brit will have studied everything possible regarding the surgery. Murray will ultimate choose what is best for himself and his quality of life.
However, one thing is certain, Murray will do everything possible to return to tennis if it is an option. The Brit will not rush any return, and will rehab properly to achieve it.
Murray is still set to announce when he will have the operation. Also, it now appears that he may be set on returning to the game. The Brit posted this on his Instagram.
What that means is anyone’s guess.