Novak Djokovic cast huge doubts over his participation in the Australian Open last week after he announced he had suffered an elbow injury.
The 20-year-old had just returned from a six-month lay-off but was forced to retire from events in Abu Dhabi and Qatar after picking up the knock.
However, the Serbian is set to test out his elbow at two tournaments this week – the Kooyong Classic and Tie Break Tens evening exhibition at Melbourne Park.
And if he comes through unscathed it is understood he will feature at the Australian Open which gets underway on January 15.
Djokovic is a six-time winner in Melbourne, last lifting the trophy in 2016 when he defeated Andy Murray in the final.
Speaking about his elbow injury ahead of the Qatar Open, he said: “Unfortunately, the situation with the elbow has not changed for the better since yesterday.
“I still feel the pain. Therefore, I will have to withdraw from the ATP tournament in Doha.
“After thorough consultations with the medical team, we decided to keep up with the therapies and elbow treatments.
“Only when I’m 100 per cent ready to play, will I be able to come back.
“I hope it will be soon. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”
Djokovic has not played since July after being forced to retire against Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
His last Grand Slam title came at the French Open in 2016 and he currently sits 12th in the ATP World Rankings.
At the Kooyong Classic, Djokovic could face David Goffin, Dominic Thiem or Marin Cilic on January 10.
He then could come up against the trickier proposition of Rafael Nadal in the Tie Break Tens.
That event pits players against each other for a tie break only, with a £185,000 winner-takes-all prize fund.
Nadal has also been suffering from injuries and the Tie Break Tens will prove a first chance to gauge his fitness ahead of the Australian Open.