Novak Djokovic believes it was a "necessary experience" to get out of his comfort zone and suffer an injury setback as the former world number one prepares to make his comeback.
Djokovic cut short a 2017 season to forget after withdrawing from Wimbledon due to an elbow injury in July.
The 12-time grand slam champion will make an eagerly-anticipated return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi this week.
And the Serbian is ready to end a turbulent period of his illustrious career, which he hopes will be of benefit in the long-term.
"It's been a real roller-coaster ride for me for a year and a half with this issue," Djokovic told Sport360.
"I've never had surgery in my life, I've never had any major injuries that kept me away from the tour for such a long time. Never missed a grand slam in my professional career. It was a big decision, a big call to make.
"I've learned a lesson because I really want to avoid getting to that stage of an injury ever in my career after this.
"I can't wait to get back on the competition level but it was a great experience for me to have.
"And it was a somewhat necessary experience because I got maybe too comfortable with not having major injuries."