ANDY MURRAY has had a bumpy ride over the past couple of years, undergoing hip surgery, staging a comeback which saw him win his first title in two years before another injury setback has seen him sidelined since the tail-end of last year.

The former Wimbledon champion was set to make his comeback at the Miami Masters later this month but the cancellation of the tournament due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis has put a spanner in the works.

However, former British number one Tim Henman believes the delay to Murray’s comeback, which now will almost certainly not happen until the end of April at the earliest due to the six-week suspension of the ATP Tour, is nothing to be worried about.

“In the grand scheme of things, this just gives him a bit more time keep getting fitter, stronger and faster,” said the former world number four.

“I was with Andy earlier in the week in London and watched him practice and he’s really hitting the ball well and he’s building his strength up all the time.

“The fact that things have been delayed, in the context of what he’s been through, I don’t think it’s too serious.

“He’s been out for so long, although he’s obviously had his moments where he’s been back playing, but it’s really been two-and-a-half years so if he’s got to wait another six weeks or so, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for him.

“It’s very difficult for everyone because there’s so much uncertainty but you have to take that cautious approach so no tournaments for six weeks. It’s very sad for those events affected, the players, the fans, the sponsors and everyone else but it’s really out of everyone’s control.”

Murray underwent hip surgery in January of 2018 having cut his season short the previous year. The operation appeared to be successful, with the Dunblane man making his first comeback that summer.

However, further injury issues meant he was not seen on court for the entire first half of last year, making his next comeback, in doubles, at Queens Club, winning the title with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Murray followed that up with a hugely impressive return to the singles tour, winning the Antwerp Open with a defeat of fellow grand slam champion, Stan Wawrinka, in the final.

And Henman, who will appear at the Brodies Tennis Invitational in Edinburgh in June, admits that Murray’s return to the sport after his injury issues have hugely impressed him.

“I love the fact that he still wants to be out there trying to get back,” the Englishman said.

“He’s really in unchartered territory because normally when you have an injury, there’s lots of others who have had that same injury but that’s not the case for Andy.

“There’s lots of people who have had new hips but not at the age of 32 and not those who want to get back to playing world-class tennis. So it’s amazing how well he’s done already.

“Seeing him on the practice court and seeing how much he’s enjoying himself, I think it’s incredibly impressive, especially considering what he’s achieved in the game already. And so I just hope he can get back to playing on the main tour.

“Injuries really go with the territory though when you’re a tennis player and you compete as much as they do, you’re going to get niggles. Federer has done as good a job as anyone of avoiding injuries but he’s out at the moment having had knee surgery. So it does happen and you just have to manage it and make sure you’re patient and you wait until you’re 100 percent fit and healthy to come back.”

Murray may have been on the sidelines once again in recent months but he shows no signs of giving up the fight. With Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer as well as the younger generation continuing to take the game to the next level, Henman concedes that for Murray to get back to challenging for grand slam titles will take an almighty effort. But he is quick to point out that writing off the Scot is always a bad idea.

“It’s hard because time doesn’t stand still,” Henman said of Murray’s attempts to return to the top of the sport.

“He’s 32-years-old and he’s not getting any younger and that’s where it’ll be hard because time isn’t on his side. But it’s amazing to come back and win a tournament on the tour – to win Antwerp like he did last year was an incredible achievement and I think he can get back playing even better than that.

“To compete over seven matches over five sets like he’ll need to do to win grand slam titles will be very, very difficult but as I’ve seen time and time again with Andy, if you say to him he can’t do something, he certainly likes to prove people wrong.”

There has been some talk that, if Murray’s latest comeback does not go smoothly, he will potentially need to go under the knife again. But Henman is confident that from what he has seen of the former world number one, things are going to plan and so further surgery will not be required.

“Having watched him play this week, he was definitely pain-free and so I’d think at the moment, that doesn’t seem like it’ll be necessary,” said Henman of further surgery.

“It’d be very frustrating if he did need another operation – any time you open up the body and have surgery, it takes time to recover so I’m sure he’s very keen to avoid that.”