Murray targets January return but will not rush comeback

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Andy Murray has set his sights on returning to action in Australia in the New Year, but was keen to emphasise he will not rush his comeback to the ATP World Tour.

Due to a long-standing hip problem, Murray - who started 2016 as world number one - has not played since seeing his Wimbledon defence end in a quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey in July.

The Briton, now ranked 16th due to his inactivity, is stepping up his return by featuring in an exhibition match against Roger Federer in Glasgow.

Ahead of that contest, Murray spoke of his hope that he will be fit to play the season-starting Brisbane International, where the main draw begins on January 1, if his body has fully recovered.

"I hope I'm there [in Brisbane], things have been going pretty well so far in the rehab, but you just never know and you take each week as it comes," he said.

"I've had setbacks and things can go quite quickly as well. I've been training for a few weeks now. Some days I've felt great and some days not so good.

"But I will come back when I'm ready and when I'm 100 per cent fit. I probably made a bit of a mistake trying to get ready for the US Open but it was the last major of the year and I wanted to give it a go.

"And now it's time to give my body the rest and recovery it needs. I'll come back when I'm ready."

Federer himself knows the frustrations of having to miss time on Tour, having had to sit out the second half of 2016 with a knee injury before returning to win two grand slams in a sublime resurgence this season.

And the Swiss offered some advice to his fellow global star, saying: "Just get healthy and take your time

"When you're back you need to be at 100 per cent. If you don't it will cause problems. Don't hurry back, you've got lots of years left.

"Nice to see you back on the court though, I've missed you, nice to have you back."