Novak Djokovic will take part in two exhibition tournaments next week before deciding whether to play at the Australian Open.
The 30-year-old former world number one has been out for the last six months with an elbow injury.
The problem forced him to pull out of recent events in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
World number 22 Kei Nishikori, a three-time quarter-finalist in Melbourne, will definitely miss the Australian Open however with a wrist injury.
The Japanese 29-year-old, who has not played since August, said that he was not yet ready to compete over five sets.
“It hurts that I will have to miss it,” he added. “My rehab is going well but I am just not ready 100%”
Djokovic is due to play at the Kooyong Classic and the Tie Break Tens evening exhibition at Melbourne Park in the week leading up to the Australian Open.
The Serb, who won the last of his 12 Grand Slam titles at the 2016 French Open, has won the Australian Open six times.
Djokovic has not played since retiring against Czech Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July.
He pulled out of last week’s Mubadala WTC exhibition in Abu Dhabi only hours before his match with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut when the pain in his right elbow flared up and also withdrew from the Qatar Open in Doha.
The Australian Open begins in Melbourne on 15 January.