London, January 8: Andy Murray is plotting a return "around the grass-court season" after undergoing hip surgery.
Murray has not played since his five-set defeat to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year.
The Briton battled hip issues throughout that tournament but, after subsequently pulling out of the US Open to focus on 2018, was expected to return at the Australian Open next week.
However, having missed the Brisbane International with hip pain, he then withdrew from the opening major of the year, raising concerns as to whether the three-time grand slam champion will ever return to the form that saw him rise to world number one.
But Murray is confident he can still challenge for titles post-surgery and hopes to make his comeback on his favourite surface, with Wimbledon starting on July 2.
A handful of us spoke to Andy Murray today. He's had the hip op, in Melbourne, and has not sounded as upbeat in a little while. Aiming at next Wimbledon for his comeback but won't be rushed. Revealed the surgeon has been advising him since 2008. Thats a lot of pain. Wish him well— kevin mitchell (@kevinmitchell50) January 8, 2018
"I'm not finished playing tennis yet. I'm going to be competing at the highest level again," Murray said.
"I'm very optimistic about the future - the surgeon is very happy about how it went.
"My plan is to be back playing around the grass-court season - potentially before then - but I'm certainly not going to rush anything.
"I want to know when I come back that I'm ready."