We tend to find that athletes have a ‘can do’ attitude to their recovery and they always want to push themselves, because that is part of their character. They usually want to push the boundaries at each stage of the recovery period – whether it’s getting rid of crutches too soon or trying to run before the should. Their mental attitude is all about doing things faster and harder but that is not how recovery from injuries works, especially with something as delicate as the back/spinal nerves.
The exact nature of Murray’s procedure will depend on the specific issues he has, the overall extent of problem and how much, if any, the nerve is affected. Some surgeries are more invasive than others but the main aim of most procedures like this is usually to ‘tidy up’ the disc and free up the nerve. From there it would be a matter of easing the inflammation and finding a balance between resting and mobilising the back to gradually get it moving again.The recovery period is also hard to predict and, again, it depends on the severity of the problem. If the nerve has been compressed significantly then it could cause a bit of weakness in the muscles in the lower limbs. This would show in something as seemingly insignificant as being able to lift a toe but sport at the level Murray plays it is all based on tiny margins.It may only take a few weeks to get back into training, but even so I think it’s very sensible that Murray’s team are already saying that he is unlikely to be back in time for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November. Even though this is probably a relatively minor operation, It’s important to manage Murray’s expectations as well as everyone else’s and not rush things.