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Andy Murray to undergo back surgery, likely to miss rest of season

updated 2:55 PM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013
As the defending champion, Andy Murray lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.
As the defending champion, Andy Murray lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray will undergo minor back surgery and most likely miss the rest of 2013
  • Murray missed the French Open with a back problem before winning Wimbledon
  • He lost early in two U.S. Open warm-up events and was upset in New York by Stan Wawrinka
  • Murray is the third member of the 'Big Four' to miss tournaments this year due to a lingering injury

(CNN) -- Andy Murray thrilled his home crowd in July when he became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon singles title.

But Murray will most likely miss the second highest profile tennis event in Britain -- the year-end championships in November -- after choosing to undergo surgery for a lingering back injury.

The 26-year-old Scot has had back issues in spurts throughout his career and was forced to pull out of the French Open in May prior to his historic fortnight at the All England Club.

His withdrawal in Paris marked the first time since the 2007 clay-court tournament in France that Murray had skipped one of tennis' four majors. That year, he hurt his wrist.

Murray exited earlier than expected at two U.S. Open warm-up tournaments and was then upset by Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets in the quarterfinals in New York this month as the defending champion.

Read: Murray exits in New York

Andy Murray knocked out of U.S. Open
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon men's final
Andy Murray's historic Wimbledon win

"Next week, Andy is set to undergo minor back surgery in an effort to clear up a longstanding back problem," Murray's management team said in a statement sent to CNN.

"The issue flared up again during the Rome Masters this year when Andy was forced to retire and he sought advice from a range of specialists in May.

"After a successful return on the more forgiving grass courts, Andy enjoyed success at Queen's and Wimbledon, but after recently playing on hard courts and clay, Andy once again sought medical advice about solving the issue once and for all.

"The aim is to be fully fit for the new season."

Murray thus becomes the second member of the so-called 'Big Four' to miss a chunk of the 2013 schedule -- Rafael Nadal didn't play at the Australian Open in January as he continued to recover from his knee troubles.

And 17-time grand slam winner Roger Federer has dealt with his own back problems, not playing at the Rogers Cup in Montreal during the U.S. Open Series.

Murray can take heart from Nadal's performances after the Spaniard returned to the tour. Nadal claimed the French Open and captured his 13th major at the U.S. Open by downing Novak Djokovic.

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