Andy Murray ruled out of Wimbledon after operation on spinal cyst

Andy Murray upset/Andy Murray ruled out of Wimbledon after operation on spinal cyst
Andy Murray had been hoping for an emotional farewell at Wimbledon - Ben Standall /AFP

Andy Murray’s chances of competing at Wimbledon this summer are all but over after he underwent an operation on a spinal cyst on Saturday, Telegraph Sport understands.

Murray faces weeks out of competition as the standard recovery time involved in this type of surgery stands at six weeks, with the Championships getting under way next Monday.

Murray’s management team insisted that no decision had been made and Leon Smith – the head of men’s tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association – took a more optimistic stance on Murray’s recovery as he stressed the three-time Grand Slam champion shouldn’t be counted out, despite the short timescale.

“He obviously went through a procedure yesterday and you have to wait and see now,” Smith told the BBC. “My understanding is no decision has been made and let’s hope for the best for Andy.”

Murray had been hoping for an emotional farewell at Wimbledon this summer, but his dream looked likely to be denied as soon as he pulled out of Queen’s on Tuesday with a nerve-related problem in his right leg, which Telegraph Sport first revealed was because of a cyst on his spine.

Spinal cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the lumbar spine as a result of degeneration in the joints – which is something that Murray alluded to in his press conference after Tuesday’s withdrawal.

“Like all tennis players, we have degenerative sort of joints and stuff in the back,” said Murray. “But it’s all predominantly been left-sided for me for pretty much my whole career. I have never had too many issues with the right side.”

The news leaves Murray in an awkward position with regard to his planned swansong. Singles tennis at Wimbledon would seem to be a bridge too far, but he could perhaps try to appear on the doubles court alongside brother Jamie. This would involve less movement around the court and give him a couple more days’ grace, as the doubles don’t start until the later part of the first week.

Or, if he is determined to say farewell on the singles court, he could try to get himself ready for the US Open, which starts at the end of August.

There would be an emotional logic to this option. While Murray would clearly consider Wimbledon to be his favourite venue, Flushing Meadows also rates highly. He won his one junior slam title in New York, then landed his maiden senior major in the same city, defeating Novak Djokovic over five sets in the memorable 2012 final.

One other option for Murray could possibly involve saying goodbye at the Laver Cup, like Roger Federer two years ago in London. However, this year’s Laver Cup is being held in Berlin, which would be a slightly odd venue to choose.

Alternatively, Murray – who is 37 – could potentially retire on the spot. Or he might decide to continue, and find out what his ageing body might be capable of achieving next season. He has always been a hard man to predict.