Andy Murray will decide on his Australian Open participation by the weekend after pulling out of the Brisbane International, and may have to reconsider surgery.
The former world number one withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday due to pain in his right hip, an injury which has kept him out of competitive action since his defeat in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
The Brit has attempted to treat the issue conservatively through a program of rehabilitation, but indicated he may yet have to go under the surgeon's knife in an attempt to regain full fitness.
His decision not to play in Queensland has thrown his participation in Melbourne into doubt and, in a post on Instagram, Murray revealed he will reassess his condition this week before deciding whether or not to remain in Australia.
"I've obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council from a number of hip specialists," the three-time grand slam singles champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist wrote alongside a picture of himself as a schoolboy.
"Having been recommended to treat my hip conservatively since the US Open I have done everything asked of me from a rehab perspective and worked extremely hard to try get back on the court competing.
"Having played practice sets here in Brisbane with some top players unfortunately this hasn't worked yet to get me to the level I would like so I have to reassess my options.
"Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover. Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as I high as I would like which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that. However this is something I may have to consider but let's hope not.
"I choose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and compete... I genuinely miss it so much and I would give anything to be back out there. I didn't realise until these last few months just how much I love this game.
"Everytime I wake up from sleeping or napping I hope that it's better and it's quite demoralising when you get on the court it's not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level.
"In the short term I'm going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next.
"Sorry for the long post but I wanted to keep everyone in the loop and get this off my chest as it's really hurting inside.
"Hope to see you back on the court soon."