© Reuters Andy Murray is weighing up his next move
A New York surgeon believes his ‘miracle’ operation could save Andy Murray’s career and have the three-time Grand Slam champion back competing pain-free in time for Wimbledon.
Dr Edwin Su is the man responsible for helping American doubles legend Bob Bryan return from chronic pain at the Australian Open thanks to his hip resurfacing operation.
Murray, who was saluted as a true great by former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade, is back home in England mulling over his options.
One complication is that he is said to have been inundated with various offers and advice from different surgeons, much of it volunteered, and is having to sift through them. He is expected to make a decision about the way ahead this week.
Murray broke down in tears before the Australian Open as he admitted the tournament could be his final event due to the ongoing pain in his hip.
However Bryan urged Murray to consider having the same operation, and Sportsmail understands the Scot contacted surgeon Su while in Australia to learn more about the procedure and is expected to decide next week whether he wants to have more surgery.
Murray had originally considered surgery to allow him a better quality of life away from tennis but Su told Sportsmail that his procedure could help the two-time Wimbledon champion compete at the highest level again with little to no pain.
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‘I think it would absolutely be able to help him,’ said Su. ‘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.
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‘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.’
Su is one of the leading hip resurfacing surgeons in the United States and has performed more than 10,000 operations.
He helped Russian fencer Artur Akhmatkhuzin win Olympic gold two years after hip resurfacing surgery, while Major League Baseball pitcher Colby Lewis and ice hockey star Ed Jovanovski also resumed their careers after treatment.
had surgery on his hip last January but this different resurfacing
technique is designed for younger, active patients. A bit like a crown
on a tooth, the operation shaves away the arthritic cartilage with a
metal covering over the bone.
Bryan had his operation in New York in August after which Su told him that he would face eight months out. However, the 16-time Grand Slam doubles champion returned to training in December after just four months before returning to competitive action with his twin brother Mike at the Australian Open this week thanks to a rehab schedule put together with Su.
Murray has returned home after suffering a five-set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday and has pulled out of the upcoming Marseille Open.
he decides to have the operation soon there is a chance — if he can
recover at a similar speed to Bryan — he could be back in time to play
at Wimbledon in July.
‘I think the timescales would be similar,’ said Su. ‘I follow tennis and have been a big fan of Andy Murray for a long time.
‘I know how incredibly hard he works and the time and energy he dedicates to the sport. He would be able to do it. I would not be worried about his commitment to the recovery.
‘On the other hand, singles is much more strenuous than doubles. It’s uncharted territory. No one has done it and returned in singles tennis and it would require more endurance in the muscle to cover the court, but based on the previous operations of sportsmen in basketball and hockey, who also have to move quickly, I think he could do it.
means a lot to the sport and I think he has got a lot of great tennis
left in him. We just have to give him a great hip.’
Meanwhile, an extraordinary week in Murray’s life has ended with a tribute being paid to him by the last British tennis player to win Wimbledon before him.
Wade has not been an unqualified fan of the 31 year-old Scot, once famously labelling him a ‘drama queen’, and admits they are not close.
Leaving Melbourne today and reflecting on some of the matches I’ve had @australianopen over the years Thanks for the memories
she has looked on from afar with sympathy and admiration as he is
forced to ponder the option of having another operation to try to fix
‘It is an unspeakably sad situation to have a career cut short by injury and I think everyone sympathises with the quandary he has about taking time out to have surgery, which may or may not be 100 per cent satisfactory,’ Wade told The Mail on Sunday from her home in New York.
‘He certainly showed us what extraordinary skills and smarts he has on the court, and when he is not going nuts, he is great to watch.’
Murray has expressed concern about what he may leave behind for British
tennis, Wade believes the weight of his career is bound to have a
‘As for his legacy, that will be intact whatever, because he has had such monumental success and very definitely been an inspiration to the next generation of young British players. I think his impact has already been seen, with the good young players coming up in the UK.
‘Maybe once the decision has been made how to go forward, it will take a lot of stress off his mind and maybe that will help him heal faster. A quick recovery would be fantastic and I wish him all the luck in the world going forward.’