from The London Evening Standard
by Chris Jones
Murray will miss remainder of season including the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London
Stefan Edberg approves Andy Murray's decision to take a break from the game and undergo back surgey and reveals that he himself had a knee surgery ten days ago
Stefan Edberg, who battled back problems throughout tennis career that brought him six Grand Slam titles, believes Andy Murray is right to opt for back surgery that will side-line him for the rest of the year.
Murray’s has been hampered by his back problems all season and if forced me to miss the French Open although he recovered to win Wimbledon - his second Grand Slam title following the 2012 US Open triumph.
However, the back issue has refused to go away forcing Murray to have a minor operation on Monday that will mean his misses the Shaghai and Paris Masters events and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London in November.
Edberg, who has just undergone a knee operation, said: ”I had a lot of problems with my lower back in my career and although I learned some exercises and treatment to keep it under control, it flared up from time to time.
“I was forced to retire and withdraw from a couple of matches because of it, including the quarterfinals of the Australian Open against Thomas Muster. I didn't have to have a surgery - I had some scans which revealed that there was some damage but not enough to undergo surgery - that is not a decision you take lightly because it means you will be out of the sport for a while - it can take a lot of time to recover.
“But with Rafael Nadal we have seen what can happen. He was out of the sport for eight months and came back stronger than ever to win two Grand Slam titles. He has lost only three matches all year. It shows that sometimes it is worth it.
“To some degree you can bluff your way through injuries for a while, which I guess is what Andy has been doing, but you can't keep doing it forever. I needed to have a knee surgery at some point this year and so I decided to have it ten days ago so that I would be ready in time for the Statoil Masters at the Royal Albert Hall in December. It was always going to be the highlight of the year for me, an incredible place to play tennis against old rivals like John McEnroe, so I made the decision to do it now, early enough to be ready. In a way, Andy has made a similar decision. It is the right thing to do.”
“You can't keep ignoring a back injury if you are always in pain. At some point you have to do something about it. It shows what an incredible win it was for him at Wimbledon, he played some great tennis there and at Queen's. It also shows that sometimes it can take pressure off you if you think to yourself that you are not at your best.
“If there is a good time to be having a surgery, now is probably as good a time as ever. All of the Grand Slam tournaments are over for the year and although it's a shame that he will probably not be able to play at the 02 Arena, he will have enough time to get ready for next year, and he can have a proper break and come back feeling fresh.
“You have to be able to think about your long-term goals, the rest of your career and even the rest of your life. You want your body to carry you for hopefully another 50 or 60 years if you are Andy, so you need to take care of it.”
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