Andy Murray steps back onto a tennis court on Wednesday just 142 days after undergoing a hip operation in a bid to salvage his career.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and former world number one tearfully announced at January’s Australian Open that it may have to be his last tournament, such was the pain his chronic injury was giving him.
Instead, on January 28, Murray went under the knife and had a metal plate inserted into the joint.
The surgery has left him pain free, and on Wednesday he is due back in competitive action alongside Feliciano Lopez in the men’s doubles at Queen’s Club.
No player has competed in top-level singles after undergoing the hip resurfacing operation, but American Bob Bryan has returned to the doubles circuit.
However, Murray is not reinventing himself as a doubles player. Queen’s, followed by Eastbourne and Wimbledon, are about testing his body, putting miles on the clock and regaining some match sharpness with a view to resuming his singles career before the end of the year.
“My goal is still to get back to playing singles, ultimately,” said the 32-year-old Scot.
“Maybe six to eight weeks ago I was chatting with my team about the best way to get back onto the court again, singles-wise.
“We felt doubles would be a good option to test myself out and see how I feel, where there is maybe a bit obviously less loading on the body, less movement, but you still have to make some quick moves and have quick reactions.
“It felt like it was actually a nice progression of the rehab I’ve been doing and getting back onto the court and see how I feel on a match court playing doubles.
“Then that will give me some information about where I’m at and maybe things I need to improve or whatever.”
Murray and Lopez face Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships.
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