Former British number one Greg Rusedski believes Andy Murray is right to be cautious about undergoing hip surgery.
Murray has been mulling over his options since making the decision a week and a half ago that he was not fit enough to compete at the US Open.
He announced on Wednesday that he has opted for rest and rehabilitation, with the likelihood that he will take the rest of the season off.
Former British No 1 Rusedski’s career was effectively ended by a hip injury.
He said: ” I had a little tear in my labrum near the end of my career and the doctor told me, ‘Take six weeks off and hopefully it’ll get better and everything will get stable’.
“For me, unfortunately, it didn’t get as stable as I would have liked because my back would pop out but now everything’s fine – so the more time you take out, the better you recover.
“They said to me if you have surgery there’s a 50 per cent chance it’ll get better, 45 per cent chance it could stay the same and five per cent chance it could get worse, so I think he’s doing the right thing taking the rest of the season off.
“He says he might come back for Paris or the end of season championships but I don’t see that happening, I see him taking the rest of the season off and starting next year and getting ready.”
If Murray’s hip cooperates, the Scot will start his 2018 campaign in Brisbane, when he is likely to be ranked well outside the top 10.
Murray is effectively in the same position as Roger Federer, who did not play a match after Wimbledon last year following knee surgery and has reaped the benefits this season.
Eurosport analyst Rusedski said: “Let’s hope it’s not too serious and he doesn’t need surgery for it because it would be great to have Andy Murray back, especially with what he’s done in his career and how well he’s played over the last few years.
“Federer was out of the top 16 seeds when he started the Australian Open this year so I wouldn’t worry about where the seeding is. If Murray is healthy, he will get back to the top of men’s tennis.”
Murray has not entirely ruled out playing again this year, pulling out of the ATP Tour events in Beijing and Shanghai but keeping his options open for the tournaments in Vienna and Paris.
The 30-year-old has struggled with the problem, which relates to a long-term condition, since his French Open defeat by Stan Wawrinka in June and limped through his Wimbledon campaign.
Murray wrote on Facebook: “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete in the upcoming events in Beijing and Shanghai, and most likely, the final two events to finish the season in Vienna and Paris due to my hip injury which has been bothering me the last few months.
“Having consulted with a number of leading hip specialists over the last week, along with my own team, we have decided that this is the best decision for my long-term future.
“Although this has been a frustrating year on court for many reasons, I’m confident after this extended period of rest and rehabilitation that I will be able to reach my best level again and be competing for Grand Slam titles next season.”
Murray is still planning to play in his charity event in Glasgow in November, where he is scheduled to play an exhibition match against Federer.
He added: “I have a fantastic team working alongside me to help me through this process and appreciate the support from them and all of my fans over this difficult period.”
Murray’s statement did not mention the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in November, which he won for the first time last year, but it is unlikely he will qualify.