Andy Murray believes he will get back to his best after targeting a new year comeback from a hip injury.
However, the 30-year-old will not rush his body and admitted there was always a doubt following an injury.
The two-time Wimbledon champion has not played competitively since labouring his way through this year's tournament at SW19 and limping out at the quarter-final stage to Sam Querrey.
However, the Scot hopes to be fit for the season kick-off with an appearance at the Brisbane International, which starts on December 31.
And he intends to get back to challenging for major honours, although he conceded the Australian Open might be an ambitious quest.
Ahead of an exhibition match against Roger Federer at his Andy Murray Live charity event in Glasgow, he was asked whether he could get back to 100 per cent fitness.
Murray said: "You never know when you're coming back from any injury, but that's what I'm working towards, for sure. We have to see, but I believe that will be the case.
"When I get back on the court next year and start playing again, it might not come immediately at the beginning of the year.
"I have been hitting the ball very well in practice - it's just that there is a difference between that 75-80% practice and going flat out at 100 per cent for two and a half or three hours on the match court. Until I do that I can't say for certain, but I think I'll be able to come back just fine."
Murray plans on getting to Australia early to acclimatise in a bid to offset his lack of sharpness, but he will not feel compelled to play if he is not totally fit.
"Things have been going pretty well so far in the rehab, but you just never know," said Murray, whose medical team chose rest and recovery instead of surgery.
"I've been training for a few weeks now. Some days I've felt great and some days not so good.
"But I will come back when I'm ready and when I'm 100% fit. I probably made a bit of a mistake trying to get ready for the US Open but it was the last major of the year and I wanted to give it a go.
"And now it's time to give my body the rest and recovery it needs. I'll come back when I'm ready."
Federer had reinforced that message moments earlier. The 36-year-old had a similar lay-off last year after struggling with knee problems and came back rejuvenated, winning his first Grand Slam event for five years at Wimbledon and following it up with a US Open triumph.
He told Murray: "Take your time, however long it takes. When you come back you want to be at 100 per cent, otherwise the problem is you feel you just can't beat the best at the big tournaments, so it's wise and worthwhile to take the extra week, extra month maybe.
"I'm sure Andy is going to have a lot of years left, so he shouldn't hurry, but as a professional athlete you always want to come back as quick as possible.
"You need to have goals but sometimes they need to be postponed."