Andy Murray will make his return from injury at the Brisbane International in January after sharing a positive update on Thursday.
Murray has only played 12 matches this year – winning seven – and has not featured since the Shenzhen Open in September, when he was beaten by Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals.
An operation on his hip in January and subsequent rehabilitation forced Murray to miss the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but he made a brief appearance at Flushing Meadows – losing in the second round.
His frustrating season ended a day after his Shenzhen exit, when he confirmed an ankle injury would keep him sidelined for the rest of 2018, but the 31-year-old is confident progress is being made in his quest to make a full return.
"I am feeling physically a little bit better each day," he said in a video on the Brisbane International's Facebook page.
"It has obviously been a tough year with the hip injury and the surgery but I am getting closer.
"I have been practising already for a few days and I have still got a couple of months to get myself in the best shape for the start of the tournament."
Murray has won the title twice in Brisbane - in 2012 and 2013 - and he hopes it can provide much-needed preparation ahead of the first grand slam of 2019 in Melbourne.
"I'm planning on getting to Brisbane pretty early, I'll probably arrive a week before the tournament, before then I am going to be doing my off-season training in Miami," he added.
"I've spent four or five weeks in Philadelphia doing a lot of off-court training and in December I'm going to get to Miami and do three of four weeks of training in the hot conditions there, and spending a lot more time on court to get myself ready for the tournament."
"I've had some successful weeks there [in Brisbane], it has always been great preparation for the Aussie Open."