Andy Murray has warned that he could skip the Australian Open if he does not feel fit enough to win it.
Murray became Britain's first male Wimbledon singles winner for 77 years in the summer but a back injury has cast a shadow over his season.
He was forced to miss the French Open, went under the knife in September after a frustrating US Open defence and has pulled out of November's ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The 26-year-old is making steady progress in his rehabilitation and could even return at an exhibition tournament in Barbados next month, but insisted he would not travel to Melbourne in January without the expectation of reward.
"I would be disappointed to miss the Australian Open because it's a grand slam," he said. "It is a tournament all the players want to play at.
"But when you start setting targets - especially when you are coming back from having surgery on your back - it's a serious thing to have done - you don't come back just to play a match at the Australian Open.
Best possible shape
"If I come back, I want to be in shape to win it. I can look at this in a lot of positive ways and if I do get myself ready for it I will have had a long lead-up and training block, really, to get myself in the best possible shape.
"Whether I make it or not depends on how things go once I get back on the tennis court. I haven't been on the tennis court yet, so I'm not sure."
It has been almost six weeks since Murray underwent surgery and he plans to test the results of the procedure by taking to the court for the first time next week.
"Rehab has been going well," Murray, speaking at Queen's Club where he unveiled his new Head Graphene Radical racquet, added. "I haven't hit any balls yet but all is on track.
"I'm hoping to hit a couple of balls next week but very few and very light just to see how it is and I will start to progress from there. I have still got quite a way to go until I am 100 per cent."