Despite doubts over returning to top level tennis, Andy Murray raised the possibility of returning to action at Wimbledon this year - if only in the doubles.
The former world number one had his second hip operation five weeks ago as he bids to overcome a problem that first became a serious issue in the summer of 2017.
Speaking at Queen's Club while announcing a long-term partnership with British clothing brand Castore, Murray said: "I want to continue playing, I said that in Australia. The issue is I don't know whether it's possible."
Murray laid bare his struggles at a tearful press conference ahead of the Australian Open, announcing he was planning to retire after this summer's Wimbledon but that the Melbourne tournament may be the last of his career.
That may yet turn out to be the case but Murray will attempt to break new ground by returning to top-level singles action.
He said: "I'm a lot happier now than I was, certainly the last 12 months, because I have no pain in my hip now and I was in pain for a long time.
"The rehab is slow but it's been going pretty well. I just need to wait and see how things progress. If it's possible, I'd certainly love to compete again."
Wimbledon return a possibility
Murray did raise the possibility of playing at Wimbledon this year, albeit in the doubles competition instead of the singles. When asked if the tournament at SW19 would come too soon, he told Sky News: "I don't know. For singles most likely it would be, can't say for sure.
"But doubles, Bob Bryan was back playing at the Australian Open after five-and-a-half months so Wimbledon comes pretty much five-and-a-half months after I had my operation.
"I communicate daily with him about stuff and the rehab he was doing, things that worked and didn't. He certainly feels like there are things he could have done better at the beginning of the rehab. So maybe I can cut a bit of time off that.
"I really can't answer those questions until I start running around because it might feel completely different to me.
"[Playing tennis] was not the reason for me having the operation. Nobody has had this operation and gone back to play high-level singles before so I can't say for certain I will be able to do it.
"The initial signs are quite good. I wanted to have the operation for my life - to be pain free, walking around and doing stuff with my family. Not to feel like that was a burden and it was really painful doing it."
Murray looking at life after tennis
Castore was set up by brothers Phil and Tom Beahon in 2015 and Murray first wore the clothes on a match court in his dramatic five-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in Australia.
While a long-term partnership would indicate Murray is hoping to play for several more years, the Scot is also thinking ahead.
He will become a shareholder in the company and help with product development as Castore looks to establish itself in the tennis market.
Murray, who has invested in a number of British start-ups, said: "It's high-quality clothes and the fact it's a young British company, it's two brothers who have played sport, there's synergy there obviously with my story.
"Normally the brand-athlete partnerships are you get paid to wear the clothes on court and take some photos, then at the end of that contract there's a negotiation. Whereas with this it was quite different. Obviously I'll have some equity in the business.
"It's something that, even when I've finished playing, I'm going to have a big involvement in as well and, as I start to get a bit older, you start to realise there's other things that you have to look for and different interests, and this is something that was really exciting for me."