Andy Murray appears to be at a cross road in his career, at least according to Tim Henman. The British star, who made it to the World No. 4 ranking during his career, believes that Murray needs to take it easy on his body in the weeks ahead or he may face a career-threatening injury. Murray has suffered from a long-term hip problem. Henman recently spoke about his opinion of what Murray should do to get competitive again, and his comments seem to reflect concern for the current World No. 1 ATP-ranked player.

Henman suggests time off

Andy Murray has "got to be fit and healthy," Tim Henman said as cited by Metro's George Bellshaw.

"The standard is so good you can’t compete unless you’re 100% healthy, so it will be interesting to see what his schedule is in the summer and the lead up to the US Open, but hopefully he can regain that fitness and start challenging for the biggest titles again."

Murray's hold on the World No. 1 ranking currently hangs by a thread. He will remain the No. 1 on Monday, and he is closing in on Ilie Nastase for 14th on the all-time list for weeks spent at No.1. But looking ahead in the weeks to come there are tournaments to be played in Montreal, Cincinnati, and New York.

Those three cities will host the big events with smaller events to be played in other locations. Both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have a great deal to gain regarding ranking points in the weeks ahead.

Murray, on the other hand, has something to lose in the short term and a lot more to lose after the U.S. Open. It all suggests that he will lose the top spot soon, either to Nadal or Federer.

The 2017 U.S. Open starts in one month's time. At present, it is already known that Novak Djokovic will not contest the tournament. The Serbian has shut down his season as he deals with an elbow injury that seems to have originally surfaced at the 2016 French Open.

Don't be surprised if Murray has bad news soon

What Murray will do remains to be seen. At present, he is priced at +500 with bet365 to win the Flushing Meadows title. Based on Henman's cautionary warning, the fact that Murray has only won the U.S. Open once before, and based on his hip problems 5 to 1 may, in fact, be generous.

The top-two favorites are Federer and Nadal, in that order.

The way Henman talks, it's almost like the British player is warning that the Scottish player will be announcing that he is going on hiatus soon. "Murray’s had problems with his hip. I know that he’s having a lot of tests at the moment and scans and seeing specialists to try and get to the bottom of that. And hopefully, he can be back competing soon," Henman said.

Those that are close to Murray have made telling comments to the media before. Judy Murray, Andy's mother, made statements that hinted at injury ahead of Wimbledon 2017. When she was asked if her son would be ready to play at Wimbledon, she said “I don’t know, hopefully," amidst other remarks that balanced the reality of his injured hip with fingers-crossed hopes, according to The Sun.

Not surprisingly, Murray went out in the quarterfinals after seeming to hit a brick wall in his match against Sam Querrey. The talk since then has been all about his hip, showing that Judy's half-pessimistic comments were insightful.

As those that know Murray have made insightful comments before, don't be surprised at all if we see a reduced schedule from Andy for the balance of 2017. If he plays, we might see some early-round losses that will curtail his match total (i.e., once you lose in tennis, your week is over). At present, the year-end No. 1 ranking has to be considered off the table, but perhaps if he takes Henman's advice, 2018 might be an entirely different matter.