Britain’s Andy Murray has had hip surgery in Melbourne and says he hopes to be playing again in time for this summer’s grass-court season.
The former world number one, 30, has not played a competitive match since he was knocked out of Wimbledon in July.
The ongoing problem forced the Scot to pull out of the Australian Open, which begins on 15 January.
“I’m not finished playing tennis yet. I’m going to be competing at the highest level again,” he said.
“I’m very optimistic about the future – the surgeon is very happy about how it went.”
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, believes if he can return to 95% of his best, that will be enough for him to compete again at the top level.
He hopes he will be hitting balls on court again after seven or eight weeks, and has been given 14 weeks as a guide for a return from this kind of surgery.
But Murray, who has fallen to 19th in the world, said he is not “interested in coming back for a specific tournament”.
“My plan is to be back playing around the grass-court season – potentially before then – but I’m certainly not going to rush anything,” said Murray.
“I want to know when I come back that I’m ready.”
Murray withdrew from the US Open two days before the start of the tournament in August last year, and said he realised he was not ready to compete in Brisbane last week when he tested his hip against other top-50 players.
“I want to come back when I’m fit and ready to play, not to get into a situation like in Brisbane or New York, where I’m unsure when I turn up at a tournament how fit I am,” he said.
Murray has not played a competitive match since his Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Sam Querrey on 12 July.