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Bob Bryan believes hip surgery can get Murray back in action

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Bryan had hip resurfacing surgery in August and returned to tennis at the start of the season.

Bob Bryan underwent the same hip operation that Andy Murray is considering

Bob Bryan has backed Andy Murray to come back from hip surgery and resume his career at the highest level.

Doubles specialist Bryan had the same hip resurfacing operation that Murray is strongly considering and returned to grand slam tennis on Wednesday with a first-round victory alongside brother Mike at the Australian Open.

The 40-year-old was forced off the tour after aggravating his hip in Madrid last May and, when attempts at rehabilitation failed, he underwent surgery in New York in August.

Bryan said: “When I went and looked at the MRI, it didn’t look good. Going in to get a metal hip implant, there’s no one that’s come back from that in tennis. So there were no guarantees. I’m happy it’s feeling good.

“Seeing the way Andy Murray is feeling kind of hit a nerve with me. I would love to see him do a similar surgery, feel the relief that it gives. I think our hips are pretty similar.”

Bryan and Murray have been in frequent contact, with the American saying: “He’s been watching me like a hawk, asking me how I’m feeling after matches, after practices. He’s just trying to gauge how long it would take him, if this procedure is an option.

Andy Murray is weighing up whether to undergo another hip operation (Kin Cheung/PA).
Andy Murray is weighing up whether to undergo another hip operation (Kin Cheung/PA).

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“I’m just trying to be supportive. I never once told him this is the way to go because I do see that singles is a different monster. Those guys are really sliding around, killing themselves for four hours. Who knows if this joint would hold up.

“I’m just telling him, ‘I feel great, quality of life is great, practices are going well’. Maybe I’m not 100 per cent yet, but I’m only five months (since surgery). The doctors said this is more of a seven or eight months until you feel perfect.

“Until I feel that, I can’t give you the guarantee, but I think he’s to the point where this is probably his last option.

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“I would love to see him do it just for quality of life. You can sleep, walk, be with your kids, play. It’s frustrating when you can’t put on your shoes.

“I personally don’t underestimate Andy Murray. You look at the great workers in history: (Ivan) Lendl, (Jim) Courier, (Andy) Roddick. This guy is maybe even a step up from those guys. I think he could do it.”

Murray flew home on Wednesday, two days after his emotional five-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Bryan said: “I was choked up when he announced his retirement. I stayed up until three in the morning watching all the tributes on social media. It really hit a nerve with me. He’s a special guy. No one has a heart like him.”

Andy Murray went down in five sets o Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in their Australian Open first-round match (Mark Schiefelbein/AP).
Andy Murray went down in five sets o Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in their Australian Open first-round match (Mark Schiefelbein/AP).

If Murray does opt to have surgery – the other option is to prepare for a farewell appearance at Wimbledon – then it seems likely he would follow Bryan’s example and use Dr Edwin Su in New York.

“He’s the only guy that’s gotten professional athletes back to their profession,” said Bryan. “He’s done a baseball guy, an NBA guy, and a hockey guy. No tennis player yet, until me, has come back.

“Andy has spoken to him. I don’t know who Andy is going to choose if he goes this route, but I would recommend him.”

Bryan is particularly happy to help out Murray because of the support the Scot gave him and Mike when they staged a charity event in December 2017.

“He’s such a good guy,” said the 16-time grand slam men’s doubles champion. “We were in trouble with our charity event, we had no big names.

“He showed up and spent the whole afternoon playing tennis with these people. We raised a ton of money, over a million bucks. I’ll never forget that. He was there for us. With a bad hip. He was limping. But he was running around and helping out.

“If I could lend a little bit of advice or support, I’m happy to do it. He’s extremely educated on this. No one’s done more research about hips, doctors. He knew my doctor inside and out, all the cases.

“He’s going to do what’s best for him. He doesn’t want to be limping any more. I know he doesn’t want to be doing that. I think this is the option.”

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