Former world number four Kei Nishikori plans to end his lengthy injury lay-off early next year, though the timeline is still grey.
The Japanese superstar has not played since his second round exit at the Rogers Cup in Canada in August, after which a wrist injury ended his season.
Nishikori mentioned a possibility of a return at the Brisbane International which is in early January, but the Australian Open which follows that does not appear part of his plans.
"I can't say when I'll heal from my injury so I'm trying not to rush anything," the 27 year-old told Sky Sports.
"I'm aiming for the Brisbane International but it could be February, or even March, who knows.
“I want to make sure I'm in top form when I'm back on tour so I'm in a position to win a Masters or grand slam title. I also hope I'm mentally stronger and hungrier next season."
— Kei Nishikori (@keinishikori) November 21, 2017
Interestingly, Nishikori decided to opt for the rest and rehabilitation route rather than surgery.Upon reflection, he is happy he chose this manner of recovery.
"There was a lot of good that came from this experience," continued the 11-time ATP Tour winner.
"If it weren't for the injury I wouldn't have undergone a rehab period in Europe.
"I wouldn't have met the physical trainer who introduced me to a conditioning method that was new to me. I feel like it could change my body."