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Australia coach says Lleyton Hewitt might return in Davis Cup match

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Hewitt set to replace Krygios in Davis Cup team (1:28)

Retired star Lleyton Hewitt will make an unplanned return to the courts for Australia in the Davis Cup tie against the U.S. at Kooyong in Melbourne. (1:28)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Davis Cup coach Jason Stoltenberg has indicated that new team captain Lleyton Hewitt might play in this weekend's first-round World Group Davis Cup match against the United States if a virus-affected Nick Kyrgios withdraws.

If so, it would rank among the shortest "retirements" in sports. Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion, called it quits after a 20-year career in late January during the Australian Open, where he lost in the second round in singles.

"He thought he was retired, and he's been hitting more than these guys," Stoltenberg said Wednesday at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

"It's probably the first time that a captain has actually had to get out and prepare as if he may play. He's a great team man and he'll do whatever he needs to do -- whether that's playing or sitting on the side. We don't expect that he'll play, but we'll have to wait and see over the next 24 hours."

Kyrgios, 20, took regular breaks Wednesday during a 40-minute practice session on the grass court at Kooyong, sitting with a towel over his head in sweltering late-afternoon heat in Melbourne.

Kyrgios' mother, Nill, spoke of the "terrible" virus her son had dealt with since pulling out of last week's semifinal against Stan Wawrinka in Dubai.

"He's a bit tired, he's still getting over the virus -- he's trying his best," she said. "It was hard to get him here. ... I think around the boys, it's going to be a discussion."

Sam Groth, who is expected to partner John Peers in Saturday's doubles, is ready to step in should Kyrgios (back/hip/virus) or Bernard Tomic (wrist) be forced out of Friday's opening singles.

The American doubles pair of Bob and Mike Bryan also practiced Wednesday.

Asked about the prospect of a Hewitt return, Mike Bryan said the move wouldn't surprise the Americans.

"He's been playing a lot of singles and doubles, so we're going to be ready for anything," Mike Bryan said. "But if he plays for Australia, it won't be a bad choice for the Aussies -- he's a legend, and he'll step up just fine."

Both teams must submit final lineups Thursday morning ahead of the draw.