Bryan backs Murray to return after hip resurfacing surgery
Doubles legend Bob Bryan believes Andy Murray can still have a tennis career if he undergoes the kind of hip operation he had last August.
Murray's career appears to be heading towards its conclusion after his Australian Open defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday, the three-time grand slam champion still hampered by his ongoing hip problem.
An operation in 2018 and extensive rehabilitation has failed to relieve the pain that Murray has been dealing with for 18 months, and prior to this year's first grand slam he confirmed his career could be over, with Wimbledon identified as the setting for a potential swansong.
The double Olympic gold medallist struggles to even walk around without pain, and needs hip resurfacing surgery to give him a better quality of life.
Bryan struggled with the same problem and underwent a similar procedure five months ago. He returned to the doubles tour in Melbourne and has not ruled out Murray coming back to singles action should he go under the knife.
"I personally don't underestimate Andy Murray," Bryan told a news conference after he and his brother Mike secured a first-round victory.
"You look at the great workers in history: [Ivan] Lendl, [Jim] Courier, [Andy] Roddick. This guy is maybe even a step up from those guys.
"I think he's going to have the surgery. He's probably going to just rehab it as best he can. If he sees there's a chance to come back, you know... I personally think he can do it.
"But, you know, there's no evidence that it's possible in tennis. I mean, so much wear and tear. But I think he could do it."
Murray has spoken of the help he has had from Bryan in recent months, and the 40-year-old says he will continue to be available for his friend.
"If I could lend a little bit of advice or support, I'm happy to do it," he added. "He's extremely educated on this. No one's done more research about hips, doctors.
"He knew my doctor inside and out, all the cases. The guy is knowledgeable beyond belief on the hip, on the surgery. He's going to do what's best for him.
"Yeah, he doesn't want to be limping any more. I know he doesn't want to be doing that. I think this is the option."
And Bryan, who is now playing pain free, was happy to recommended the surgeon who operated on him.
"[It was] Dr Su at HSS [Hospital for Special Surgery] in New York," he said. "He's the only guy that's gotten professional athletes back to their profession.
"He's the only that's gotten them back to the highest level. He's done a baseball guy, an NBA guy and a hockey. No tennis yet until me has come back.
"I would really recommend him. He's a tennis fan. He knows it inside and out. Andy has spoken to him. I don't know who Andy is going to choose if he goes this route, but I would recommend him, Dr. Su. I would love to see him do a similar surgery, feel the relief that it gives.
"I feel great, quality of life is great, practices are going well. Maybe I'm not 100 per cent yet, but I'm only five months [in]. The doctors said this is more of like a seven or eight months until you feel perfect.
"Until I feel that, I can't give you the guarantee, but I think he [Murray] is to the point where this is probably his last option. I would love to see him do it just for quality of life. You can sleep, walk, be with your kids, play. It's frustrating when you can't put on your shoes."