Andy Murray delays comeback but still has Wimbledon hopes
Britain's Andy Murray has delayed his comeback from surgery but still hopes to play at Wimbledon in July.
The 31-year-old Scot, who has not played since Wimbledon last year, had a hip operation in January.
He had hoped to play in the grass-court Libema Open in the 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, starting on 11 June.
"I am not quite ready to return. I am still aiming to play in the coming weeks, but I want to be 100% when I do return," said Murray.
"It is with regret that I won't be ready to play in Hertogenbosch. I was excited to play there for the first time."
Murray, the British number two, has won Wimbledon twice - in 2013 and 2016 - and this year's tournament starts on 2 July.
The Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's in London takes place from 18 to 24 June, and there are grass-court tournaments in the Turkish city of Antalya and Eastbourne in the week before Wimbledon.
"I've been out close to a year now, which is a lot longer than me or any of my team expected, but I'm getting closer to playing again," added Murray.
"I've started training a few days ago and am hoping to make my comeback during the grass-court season."
Earlier this week, his mother Judy told BBC Sport that Andy would not risk playing at Wimbledon unless he was fully fit.
"The most important thing is he gets fit again for the long term and any top athlete would tell you they would not come back until they felt they could give 100%, especially in a major like Wimbledon," she said.
After withdrawing on the weekend before last year's US Open, and then heading to Australia in January in a second attempt to make his comeback, Murray has promised not to return this time until he is 100% fit.
And so time is against him - as far as the grass-court season is concerned.
Murray returned to the practice court in late March, following his surgery of 8 January, but was only able to play for about three weeks until his hip problem flared up again.
It is encouraging to hear he is now back on court, but after five weeks on the sidelines - and with the Queen's Club tournament starting in less than a fortnight - it is hard to see how he can be truly competitive on the grass this year.
Of greater long-term importance, however, is how the hip responds when Murray starts to up the intensity of his on-court sessions, and begins to play practice sets against other ATP players.