Is Andy Murray right to miss Sports Personality of the Year?

After it was announced that Andy Murray would not be attending the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday, Sports Mole assesses whether the Wimbledon champion has made the correct decision to remain in Miami to continue treatment on a back injury.

Ever since Andy Murray ended Great Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon, the 26-year-old has been considered a certainly to lift the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in Leeds on Sunday evening.

However, earlier this week, Murray revealed that he would not be attending the awards ceremony in order to continue his rehabilitation on a back problem after undergoing surgery on the injury in September.

Below, Sports Mole assesses whether the two-time major champion has made the correct decision by opting to remain in Miami ahead of the start of the 2014 ATP Tour campaign.

Why should Murray have attended the ceremony?

When Novak Djokovic netted a backhand on match point on that memorable afternoon in July, the door opened for Murray to change his highly-debated public perception after years of being criticised for his apparent lack of personality.

In the immediate aftermath of his success at SW19, the Scot was bombarded with media requests from all around the world as everyone soaked up the enormity of what Murray had achieved in toppling the world number one.

Murray had warmed the hearts of a nation with his display of emotion after losing to Roger Federer 12 months earlier, but his triumph on Centre Court had turned him into a worldwide star that was widely appreciated in all quarters.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic stand with their trophies after the Scot won Wimbledon on July 07, 2013.© Getty Images

The Sports Personality of the Year is regarded as one of the biggest sporting accolades in this country, and the fact that Murray was catapulted to odds-on favourite provided the proof of the respect and happiness that Great Britain had for his realisation of a boyhood dream.

The evening in Leeds was seen as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Murray, who himself deserved to take centre stage and relive the journey that earned him a place near the top of the pile of British sporting history.

It would be wrong for Murray's absence to effect the outcome of the votes, but by remaining in Florida, the world number four has given his doubters a chance to wrongly criticise his appreciation for his fans in this country.

Why has Murray made the correct decision to remain in Miami?

When Murray was developing his skills in Dunblane and Spain as a teenager, his dream wasn't to become Sports Personality of the Year. It was to achieve all he could in the world of tennis.

Awards and recognition as a celebrity have always come second to a player whose remarkable workrate, determination and dedication have taken him to two Grand Slam titles.

The anticipation was that Murray would build on his Wimbledon success with several more major championships, but a back injury picked up during the clay-court season was still lingering, and he was left with little option but to try to rectify the issue with surgery on the problem area shortly after the US Open.

Andy Murray reacts against Marcel Granollers during day four of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2013 on May 15, 2013© Getty Images

The operation wiped out the remainder of his campaign, and he was forced to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Finals in London, with the tournament being a lesser one without the home favourite.

In his mid-twenties, Murray potentially has plenty more to offer on the ATP Tour, and if he can successfully recover from his back complaint, he will be expected to compete in the final stages of three of the four Grand Slams in 2014.

While his attendance at the star-studded evening in Yorkshire would have made for an exciting occasion, Murray has to put his professional career first, and if the lengthy journey would have put his rehab at risk, then the 26-year-old has made the correct decision.

Verdict

If he was clear of injury and wasn't nearing a comeback after undergoing surgery, Murray would have undoubtedly taken his place alongside some of the other contenders in Leeds on Sunday.

While the Scot has never been someone who has appeared comfortable when attracting the limelight, he has always dealt with his responsibilities in a mature fashion, and he would have relished the chance to feature in front of his sporting peers.

However, enduring two six-hour flights in the space of a couple of days is not an ideal scenario for anyone, never mind someone who has been working towards a return to a tennis court after several months out of action.

Murray's decision will not sit well with everyone, but those who hope to see the Wimbledon winner back in action in 2014 will recognise that he has made the only decision that he can.

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia pose prior to their men's singles final match during day eight of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 11, 2013
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