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2 January 2018, 08:50 | Updated: 2 January 2018, 08:51
Andy Murray has pulled out of the Brisbane International due to a hip injury, tournament organisers have announced.
The 30-year-old had been set to return to competitive action this week having been sidelined since Wimbledon due to hip problems.
But a statement on the tournament's website on Tuesday morning said the British number one had pulled out "due to pain in his right hip".
Murray, who started 2017 as the world number one, has slipped down to 16th in the rankings during his long absence.
He played a one-set exhibition against Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday but looked far from 100 per cent as he lost 6-2.
Murray 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.
The Brisbane International statement added: "The number two seed announced his decision on Tuesday afternoon, but will stay in Brisbane as he works towards returning to the tennis circuit."
Murray limped through his Wimbledon campaign having first felt the hip problem during the French Open in June and his title defence ended with a quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey.
He made an aborted attempt to return at the US Open, pulling out two days before the start of the tournament, and his only public on-court appearances have been exhibitions against Roger Federer in November and then Bautista Agut.
Murray improved during the set against the Spaniard but a limp was still very much in evidence and he appeared hampered when pulled out on his forehand side.
The Australian Open, the year's first grand slam, starts on January 15.