Andy Murray will head early to Brisbane for latest planned return to action

Andy Murray in action at the Shenzhen Open

Andy Murray is preparing to travel to Australia with his first match in three months potentially 11 days away.

The Brisbane International starts the 2019 season on 31 December.

Murray only played six tournaments this year and wants plenty of time to acclimatise and prepare as he continues his recovery from hip surgery.

The former world number one said on social media: “I’m planning to get to Brisbane pretty early – probably a week before the start of the tournament.”

Murray was due to make his third appearance in Brisbane a year ago, having been sidelined with a hip injury since Wimbledon 2017.

But the 31-year-old Scot instead had surgery in January and his recovery subsequently curtailed his 2018 season as he stands at 257 in the world rankings.

He could face the likes of world number two Rafael Nadal or home favourite Nick Kyrgios in the early stages at the Queensland Tennis Centre, where the first round will be played on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Fellow Briton Kyle Edmund is also poised to be in the field along with Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Daniil Medvedev.

Double Wimbledon champion Murray ended his competitive season early in September, when he pulled out of the China Open, in order to prepare for the Australian Open in Melbourne, which gets under way in mid-January.

Murray has undergone several weeks of reconditioning work in Philadelphia with American fitness specialist Bill Knowles, whose previous list of past clients includes Tiger Woods and Jonny Wilkinson.

More recently, he has had a training block in Miami, where he was pictured with former top-10 player Fernando Verdasco, who was one of his hitting partners.

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BBC Sport – Tennis

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