• Tennis

McEnroe: Murray can return like Nadal

ESPN staff
December 5, 2013
Andy Murray missed the season-ending World Tour Finals after opting to undergo back surgery © Getty Images

John McEnroe believes Andy Murray can emulate Rafael Nadal's return from injury, as the Scot continues his rehabilitation after back surgery.

Murray, who became the first Briton to win the Wimbledon men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, underwent surgery in September and has not featured in a competitive match since.

However, seven-time grand slam champion McEnroe stated there is no reason why the 26-year-old cannot come back a stronger player - much like Spaniard Nadal, who claimed 10 titles after returning from a seven-month lay-off with a troublesome knee.

"It's going to be unpredictable when you haven't played," McEnroe said. "But you could make the argument that it could help him. I think mentally, he was a little whipped at the [US] Open, he needed to regroup - it had been an incredible but crazy 12 months for him.

"Now he's had a chance to hopefully get things right with his back. And if that's not right, it's going to be tough. Maybe he's going to have to think longer term, but hopefully he'll come out firing the way Nadal did."

Murray missed the French Open due to his back problem, but returned to claim the title at SW19. Despite enjoying success with the Great Britain Davis Cup team, he opted to go under the knife in September and, as a result, missed the ATP season-ending World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena.

The Australian Open - the first grand slam of the 2014 season - begins on January 13. On Wednesday, Murray revealed he was anxious in stepping up his recovery from surgery.

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