Britain’s Andy Murray says he may have to consider surgery after withdrawing from the Brisbane International because of his long-term hip injury.
The 30-year-old is down to 16th in the world, having not played since July.
Murray said on Instagram surgery was a “secondary option, something I may have to consider but let’s hope not”.
The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on 15 January and Murray added he would decide by the weekend whether to stay in Australia or fly home.
Murray had been given a bye to the last 16 in Brisbane and was due to play American Ryan Harrison on Thursday. The former world number one said: “It’s quite demoralising that when you get on the court it’s not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level. It’s really hurting inside.” In an earlier statement announcing he would not be playing in Brisbane, three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, who won the event in 2012 and 2013 said: “I’m very disappointed to be withdrawing.
“I came here with every intention of making a strong start to the year.”
Murray has not played competitively since his defence of the Wimbledon singles title ended in a five-set defeat by Sam Querrey in July, when he was hampered by the hip injury.
He made an unsuccessful attempt to return at the US Open in August, pulling out two days before the start of the tournament.