British star Andy Murray was hoping to make a miracle comeback at the Australian Open in January, after tearfully announcing his possible retirement at the same event in 2019. However, despite undergoing a career-saving hip surgery 11 months ago, the three-time Grand Slam champion is not fit enough to compete in his first Grand Slam singles event.

Apart from the Australian Open, Murray has also pulled out of next month's inaugural ATP Open. In a statement shared by BBC, Murray said that he suffered a setback in his recovery and as a precaution, he needs to work through his injury before competing again.

"I've worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I'm gutted I'm not going to be able to play," he said.

To be fair, no one, not even Murray himself, thought that he would be able to return to top level competition this soon or even at all. In fact, when he tearfully announced his hip surgery at the Australian Open early this year, he admitted that it might mean the end of his career.

In a miraculous turn of events, Murray was able to return to the court to play in a competitive level much sooner than expected. Last summer, just half a year since his hip resurfacing surgery, Murray was able to start playing in doubles events. He began playing singles events again in August, and was even able to take home the Antwerp Open title in just his seventh tournament back.

The 32-year-old was part of Great Britain's Davis Cup team but he only played one match. By then, it was already clear that he was struggling with his injury. Murray and his coaching staff as well as his entire fitness team have decided not to rush his recovery. Even though he is skipping the usual rigorous training schedule that is expected ahead of a Grand Slam, Murray is spending time on-court and is building up his fitness. He won't be expected to be back in competition until at least February 2020.

Andy Murray makes comeback at Davis Cup
Murray beat Stan Wawrinka to win the European Open in Antwerp last month. Photo: BELGA / JOHN THYS