Andy Murray will make a decision on his Australian Open prospects at the weekend as he tries to avoid surgery to treat his long-term hip problem.
Murray pulled out of the Brisbane International on Tuesday as the injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon was still causing him pain.
The 30-year-old revealed his frustrations with the problem that has put a hold on his career and admitted he may have to go under the knife, while his participation in the first grand slam of the year is in serious doubt.
In a Facebook post, Murray wrote: "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."
If it is the latter, the British number one could opt for surgery, which he had tried to avoid.
He said: "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."
The Australian Open starts on January 15.
Murray, who started 2017 as the world number one, has slipped down to 16th in the rankings during his long absence.
He had been given a bye through the first round in Brisbane and was set to face American Ryan Harrison in the last 16 on Thursday.
It would have been his first competitive appearance since he limped through his Wimbledon campaign having first felt the hip problem during the French Open.
His only public on-court appearances since then have been exhibitions against Roger Federer in November and Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday, when he looked far from 100 per cent as he lost 6-2.
Murray added: "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."