Andy Murray will make his return from injury at the Brisbane International in January after sharing a positive update on Thursday.
Murray has only played 12 matches this year – winning seven – and has not featured since the Shenzhen Open in September, when he was beaten by Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals.
An operation on his hip in January and subsequent rehabilitation forced Murray to miss the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but he made a brief appearance at Flushing Meadows – losing in the second round.
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His frustrating season ended a day after his Shenzhen exit, when he confirmed that an ankle injury would keep him sidelined for the rest of 2018, but the 31-year-old is confident progress is being made in his quest to make a full return.
"I am feeling physically a little bit better each day. It has obviously been a tough year with the hip injury and the surgery, but I am getting closer," he said in a video on the Brisbane International's Facebook page.
"I have been practising already for a few days and I have still got a couple of months to get myself in the best shape for the start of the tournament."
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Murray has won the title twice in Brisbane - in 2012 and 2013 - and he hopes that it can provide much-needed preparation ahead of the first grand slam of 2019 in Melbourne.
"I'm planning on getting to Brisbane pretty early, I'll probably arrive a week before the tournament, before then, I am going to be doing my off-season training in Miami," he added.
"I've spent four or five weeks in Philadelphia doing a lot of off-court training and in December I'm going to get to Miami and do three of four weeks of training in the hot conditions there, and spending a lot more time on court to get myself ready for the tournament. I've had some successful weeks there [in Brisbane], it has always been great preparation for the Aussie Open."