Why Andy Murray’s ‘serious’ ankle injury may not end hopes of Wimbledon farewell

Kevin Palmer
Andy Murray injured his ankle at the Miami Open
Andy Murray injured his ankle at the Miami Open

Andy Murray’s hopes of a glorious farewell to his career at Wimbledon this summer may be dashed after he confirmed he suffered a significant ankle injury in his defeat against Tomas Machac at the Miami Open.

Murray suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle twist as he drew level at 5-5 in the fifth set of a thrilling contest that was arguably the best match of the Miami Open so far.

TV replays confirmed Murray went over on his ankle and was in real pain as he punched the floor and received treatment from the ATP trainer.

It was somewhat surprising that he played on and came within two points of pulling off what would have been a remarkable victory.

Now it has emerged his heroism in the final stages of the match was all the more remarkable as he damaged ankle ligaments in the incident, with a scan confirming the severity of the injury.

“Yesterday towards the end of my match in Miami I suffered a full rupture of my ATFL and near full thickness rupture of my CFL,” said Murray on Instagram.

“I will see an ankle specialist when I return home to determine next steps.

“Goes without saying this is a tough one to take and I’ll be out for an extended period.”

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Murray ended his message with a jovial sign-off as he added: “But I’ll be back with 1 hip and no ankle ligaments when the time is right.”

While Murray’s determination to end his career on his own terms is commendable, there is a possibility that he will need to extend his retirement timeline if he is to recover from this injury setback and play again.

READ MORE: Emotional Andy Murray makes ‘sad’ confession about his ‘tennis home’ and family after Miami farewell

Murray has hinted that he intends to call time on his incredible career this summer, with the wise money on the two-time Wimbledon champion playing his final tournament on the Centre Court stage where he enjoyed his greatest moments at the All England Club this summer.

Yet there must not be doubts over whether Murray will be fit to play a full part in the grass court season.

He has already entered clay court events over the next few weeks, but they will now be abandoned as he will now target the grass court season for a final comeback.

Murray will be keen to try and defend the ATP Challenger titles he won at Surbiton and Nottingham last summer, while he will also be keen to make a final appearance at the Queen’s Club tournament in London.

That comes two weeks before the start of Wimbledon, where he could be in line to receive an emotional farewell from British fans.

This kind of injury can take up to 10 weeks to heal, which would push Murray’s latest comeback into the first week of June.

However, the kind of specialist treatment he will receive could significantly speed up the healing process.

Murray can expect to weak an Aircast boot for three weeks, with massage helping to increase the blood flow around the ankle and speed up the healing process.

If Murray could trim down his recovery timescale below that ten weeks, he could be back on court in mid-May and getting ready for the grass court season.

Yet any setback in his recovery would almost certainly end his hopes of final appearances at Queen’s and Wimbledon, with his oft-stated fear that he may be one big injury away from the end of his career now a worrying prospect.

“If my body is in good shape and I’m still able to compete consistently, I’ll keep playing,” said Murray in 2022.

“But I can’t look so far in advance with the age I’m at and with the issues I’ve had. If I was to have a big injury, I probably wouldn’t try to come back from that.”

With the final match of his career now close, the timing of this setback is a major blow to a champion who finally appeared to be finding his feet on court after a difficult few months when wins have been hard to come by.