Ask the Expert Webinar
Lounge Doctor

Andy Murray has a hip replacement


Nurse Director
Jun 8, 2007
The North
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Andy Murray has a hip replacement
Simon Briggs, Tennis Correspondent, Sydney Daily Express
8 January 2018 1:00pm

Andy Murray underwent hip surgery today in Australia, and believes that he should be able to resume his tennis career in time for Wimbledon.

In a conference call held three hours ago, Murray explained that he had reached the decision to have an operation last Wednesday night, soon after realising that he was not ready to play in the Brisbane International despite almost six months of rest and rehabilitation.

“The reason for having it done was to allow me to get back competing,” Murray said. “Because that’s what I want to keep doing and I’m not finished playing tennis yet.”

Early reports on the operation’s progress were positive. “I'm very optimistic,” Murray said. “The surgeon was very happy about how it went. He felt that my hip will be feeling better than it did a year ago. Obviously, I was still doing fine a year ago. I was ranked No.1 in the world a year ago.”

Yet Murray emphasised that he will not be chasing rankings points with the his old intensity when he returns to tour. “I'm not going to be putting in the same amount of tournaments and effort to try to get to No.1 in the world,” Murray explained. “I'll be focusing more on trying to win major events and big tournaments rather than trying to achieve certain ranking goals.”

Instead of returning to England last Thursday, as his Instagram post suggested at the time, Murray opted to fly to Melbourne and stay there incognito. He had decided to engage the services of Dr John O’Donnell, a man he describes as “one of the most experienced hip surgeons in the world”.

It now emerges that Murray has been in touch with Dr O’Donnell since 2008, when his right hip first started to bother him. The two men have met six or seven times in Melbourne since, usually in the wake of the Australian Open. “I’ve known him since I was 20, 21 years old,” Murray said, “and I decided he was the right person to do it.”

Although troublesome, the hip did not become a major concern until early June, when Murray found himself unable to walk without pain after a lengthy French Open semi-final against Stan Wawrinka.

Since then, he has followed the advice of doctors by attempting the conservative route back to fitness, which involved rehabilitation rather than surgery. But after the Brisbane failure, he felt that the time had come for a more aggressive approach.

“I was nervous this morning,” Murray said, “but it was the right decision to make. At Wimbledon basically everything was hurting. I had never been in pain like that before. It's got better but still it's extremely tiring mentally when you are feeling your hip from the first minute that you wake up in the day and start walking, to when you lie down at night.

“I'm happy that I’m going to be out of that pain now. To get back playing, the advice I’ve been given is 12 to 14 weeks. But I'm going to take as long as I need to take before I get back on the court. Most likely that will be around the grass-court season, maybe slightly before.

“I want to come back when I'm fit and ready to play, not to get into a situation like in Brisbane or New York, where I'm unsure when I turn up at a tournament how fit I am.”

Murray did not explain the details of the condition he has been suffering from, but he did say that Dr O’Donnell had taken a light-touch approach to the surgery. A complete clear-out of the joint would probably have ended his sporting career, so the intention is to muddle through a few more years on the tour and then to have a full hip replacement after he retires.

“I’ve been fairly competitive with top 50 players in the world in Brisbane when I’m struggling to move,” said Murray. “And I made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon when I literally couldn’t walk and was in so much pain. So if I can get myself to 95 per cent of my best I believe that’s enough to compete at the highest level.”

While explaining his latest procedure, which began at 7.30am this morning Melbourne time, Murray revealed for the first time that he had previously undergone another bout of surgery – though a far more minor one – on Dec 18.

This was a kind of hernia operation, designed to clear up a condition widely known as Sportsman’s Groin. Modern treatments are so effective that he was only off the practice court for four or five days. The detail explains why Murray opted to leave his training block in Miami a few days early.

As for the motivation that has kept Murray plugging on through week after dreary week of rehab, he explained yesterday that he wanted his elder daughter - Sophia, who will soon celebrate her second birthday - to be able to watch him play.

“I had spoken to my wife a little bit about it,” he said. “One of the things that I would like to do is play until my eldest daughter is able to watch me and have a small understanding of what it is I've done for my living.

“That would be cool if she can come along and watch me hit some balls or practice. I like seeing a lot of the other kids when they are on the tour with their parents. Now I've had surgery, that's something I'm looking forward to in the future.”

Andy Murray says he has been battling hip problems for many years, but always on a niggling level. It was only after his semi-final against Stan Wawrinka at the French Open in June that he woke up with agonising pain.

He was clearly inhibited at Queen’s and limped through four wins at the All England Club before his quarter-final defeat by Sam Querrey.

Despite weeks of rest and rehab, he had to withdraw from the US Open less than 48 hours before the event. He has not been on a match court since.

Concerns about the future of Andy Murray’s career are growing as it emerges that the British tennis star is suffering from pain in both his hips rather than just the right as was widely presumed.

Murray, who has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon last summer and is now back in Britain after aborting his plans to contest the Australian Open, told former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash of his predicament when the pair met at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi at the end of December.

“I was talking to Andy in Abu Dhabi and told him I was getting pain in one of my hips and he told me his problems were in both hips,” said Cash, who was at the Mubudala World Tennis Championship as a tournament ambassador. “He was pretty open about it and I thought he was resigned to the fact.”

Murray travelled to Abu Dhabi as a training stop-off en route to Australia. When Novak Djokovic withdrew from the exhibition event with renewed problems in his right elbow, the Scot agreed to stand in as a replacement in a one-set contest against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, losing 6-2. Murray then flew to Melbourne before deciding that trying to play 2018’s opening Grand Slam tournament was a futile exercise.

Cash added: “Andy has been a great champion, but the way he has always played, in a style that relies so much on fitness and being stronger than the other guy, and the way he has punished his body, the end result was always going to be something like this.”

Broadcaster Andrew Castle, who underwent surgery during and after his tennis career, said: “There is little chance of [Murray] challenging for major titles after hip surgery. If it is a full hip replacement, I cannot see any way he would be able to face Nadal, Dimitrov, Djokovic and Federer. When the ball comes to you, it is OK. But the ball doesn’t come to you when you are playing these guys.”


Active Antibacterial

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Latest member
TKR. 2019
Recent bookmarks

Top Bottom