Andy Murray says he is ready to return from injury to play at the Aegon Championships at Queen's next week, the most encouraging sign yet that he will be fit for Wimbledon, where he lost in the final last year to Roger Federer.
The world No2 has been resting his injured back since retiring mid-match in Rome last month and there were fears after he withdrew from the French Open that he might not be fit in time for Wimbledon, which starts on 24 June.
On Tuesday night he tweeted: "Barring no setbacks in the next couple of days I will be making an appearance at the club of the queen next week! #backontrack."
Murray has been receiving intense physiotherapy and medical treatment over the past few weeks and he feared at one point that the injury that he has been carrying for 18 months might be career-threatening. He admitted in Rome it was "disc-related" but in the past he has been prepared to play with the aid of pain-killers. The fact that he pulled out of a match for only the second time in his career indicated the seriousness of the problem.
The situation hit crisis point in Rome when, during his match against Marcel Granollers, the pain struck so viciously he was forced to withdraw after winning the tie-break to level at a set apiece.
A photographer at court-side who was within feet of him when he walked off told the Guardian this week: "He was in tears. There was no doubt he was in severe pain."
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