EASTER ROAD prospect Fraser Murray has paid tribute to Scottish sporting icon Andy Murray for acting as an invaluable sounding board as he battled persistent injury woes.
Hibs’ Murray saw the first half of the season plagued by a maddening groin complaint that he feared could hinder his burgeoning career for the next two years.
However, the 19-year-old is part of Murray’s 77 Sports Management stable along with teammate Ryan Porteous, ensuring he was able to call upon some priceless guidance.
Despite being a true global superstar, the tennis legend has been admirably hands-on with his Hibee clients and always willing to draw upon his own fitness fights to ensure his namesake retained a steely mentality.
“I was suffering from overloading the groin and there wasn’t really a timeframe,” explained Murray. “I feared it wouldn’t go away and I would need to play through it for a year or two.
“But it has gone away now and I feel good. All the physios have helped me through it and made me stronger.
“Andy Murray has given me advice and told me how to deal with it from his point of view. He has helped me through it and given me pointers on the mental side of things.
“Whenever I was struggling mentally or I was a bit down, he would give me a few tips about how to keep going and stay focused.
“He just reminded me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. There were texts and WhatsApp messages and a few important words here and there.
“I went down to Wimbledon last year and met with him. I was injured at the time and he was good, talking to me about staying focused and not to get too down.”
And the Hibs youngster reckons he can take as much encouragement from Murray’s actions as his words, reflecting on the achievements of the former tennis World number one and three-time Grand Slam winner.
“It helps to know that he has been one of the greatest tennis players in the world and that you can overcome injuries and be one of best,” he added. “If he can do it, then hopefully I can do it.”
For the moment, however, it is baby steps for Hibs’ Murray.
Having made just four senior appearances this season, he hopes to be afforded the opportunity to shine in the final three fixtures of the campaign – starting against Rangers on Sunday.
“I had a stop-start beginning to the season with injuries but the past two months I have got more game time and I have been feeling fit, feeling good,” he said. “I have got on some games recently and it is good to know that the manager is trusting me to make an impact.”