Milos Raonic thinks Novak Djokovic could emulate Roger Federer by making up for lost time to win the Australian Open next month.
Federer won an epic final against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne this year after opting to cut short the 2016 season due to injury.
Djokovic has not played since pulling out of Wimbledon due to an elbow problem, but the 12-time grand slam champion is set to return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi this month.
Raonic expects former world number one Djokovic to be a force in the first major of the year, which he will be looking to win for a seventh time.
The Canadian said: "Novak's played well here [in Melbourne]; he's had a lot of time to train and recover.
"He could do the thing that Roger was able to do [this year]. Roger's been playing great. It's hard to know [who will win the tournament], it's really hard to know.
"If you look at it from how things ended last year it's Roger and Rafa, but it's hard to discount guys when they've had time to train. I think Roger proved a lot of people wrong in that sense."
Raonic has been plagued by injury problems, but is optimistic of a more positive 2018.
"I'm 100 per cent healthy but only 80 per cent through my off-season. I would have liked to have a bit more training in the off-season but my injuries kept me delayed," he said.
"I feel better than last year because I've had more time to prepare. Last year the season finished late for me so time was limited and everything ended up being a rush. Now I've had time to take off and recover."