The 2009 US Open winner and former world No 4 will start as the tournament favourite behind top seed Fabio Fognini despite a tough injury-blighted year.
“Last year I played some of my best tennis in Sydney and it is the perfect way to start the year,” said the Argentine.
After famously upsetting Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer en route to winning at Flushing Meadows five years ago, Del Potro’s career was hampered by surgery on his right wrist in 2010 before he fought his way back into the top 10 again.
The 26-year-old battled pain in his left wrist that first flared up at the Australian Open in January.
He retired from his opening match in Dubai in February and then withdrew from tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, undergoing surgery in late March, and he has not played since.
Young Australian hope and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios is also in the draw alongside 2013 champion Bernard Tomic.
The women’s side of the draw is headed by two-time Wimbledon champion and world No 4 Petra Kvitova along with French Open runner-up Simona Halep.
The tournament takes place from January 11-17.