Hip pain forces Andy Murray into retirement from tennis
Murray wants to play until Wimbledon but admits Australian Open could be last tournament.
Andy Murray has said he is aiming to finish his career after Wimbledon - but that there is a chance the forthcoming Australian Open may be his swansong.
The former world number one struggled through a practice match against Novak Djokovic on Thursday ahead of the tournament starting in Melbourne next week.
Speaking at a press conference, the 31-year-old said: "I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months."
Murray was on the verge of tears as he entered the press conference room and, asked how his hip was feeling, managed to say "not great" before being overcome by his emotions and having to leave the room.
He returned after several minutes to deliver his devastating news, saying: "Obviously I've been struggling for a long time.
"I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I've pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads.
"I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but still in a lot of pain. It's been tough."
Murray, from Dunblane, will contest his first-round match against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday but that may prove to be the final match of his illustrious career.
The 31-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion said: "I'm going to play. I can still play to a level. Not a level that I'm happy playing at. But it's not just that.
"The pain is too much really and I don't want to continue playing that way.
"During my training block I spoke to my team and told them I can't keep doing this.
"I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop.
"I said to my team, look I think I can get through this until Wimbledon. That's where I'd like to stop playing. But I'm also not certain I'm able to do that."
After another pause while Murray, who has two Olympic gold medals, sat with his head on the desk, he was asked whether this might be his last tournament.
"Yes I think there's a chance of that for sure because I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months," he said.
"I have an option to have another operation, which is a little bit more severe than what I've had before in having my hip resurfaced, which will allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain.
"That's something I'm seriously considering right now.
"Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing but there's obviously no guarantees with that and the reason for having an operation like that is not to return to professional sport, it's just for a better quality of life."