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Andy Murray's US Open in major doubt, says hip specialist

 

By Eleanor Crooks

A leading hip specialist believes Andy Murray only has a 50/50 chance of playing at the US Open. Giles Stafford, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in sports-related hip disorders, watched Murray's quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

He said: "I almost wanted to cry for him. He was collapsing off the serve, he couldn't push off on the right at all.

"His movement was terrible, and as a result of that he couldn't push off his legs so his shots didn't have any penetration. And he was clearly in pain."

Murray has not revealed exactly what the problem is, but said it is something he has been dealing with for many years.

Stafford said: "What he has said would suggest he has potentially an underlying problem called dysplasia, which is a slightly shallow socket.

"What having that will do is it will predispose him to early wear and tear problems in the hip, because the way that the hip carries weight is wrong.

"It can also quite commonly be linked to another hip problem called impingement. If it is one or both of those things, it's likely to get worse as he gets older."

Murray missed two days of practice on the eve of Wimbledon, putting the defence of his title in serious doubt.

He declared himself fit enough to get through the two weeks but walked with a noticeable limp during each of his five matches.

Murray insisted he was not risking further damage by playing, but Stafford believes that is unlikely. Asked if he would have made the problem worse, he said: "Yes probably, but not irreversibly. He's probably just inflamed it and it's got very sore. So if he takes a bit of time out he might be alright."

Murray was due to sit down with his team yesterday to decide where to go from here, with the US Open less than seven weeks away. Explaining the options available to the Scot, Stafford said: "If he has dysplasia, it can sometimes be conservatively treated with some rest, some physiotherapy and sometimes some guided injections.

"It all depends on how much damage is in the joint. If he has a lot of damage in the joint, you can try keyhole surgery to repair what you can, but you can't treat any shallow socket that way.

"The surgery for a shallow socket is quite a big operation and he wouldn't get back to professional sport.

"If he decides he wanted to go forward for keyhole surgery, he might be out for six months. If he decides he's going to try and be as conservative as possible, then he'll probably just need a month or two's rest.

"I'd say the US Open would be 50/50 at a guess looking at the way he was playing."

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