Michael Vaughan is confident former team-mate Marcus Trescothick will beat his stress-related illness and return to play for England again.
Vaughan and Trescothick were once rivals for the captaincy
And the England captain believes the Somerset batsman's decision to miss England's winter tours will ensure he does not come back before he is ready.
"The last thing I wanted was for him to come out and play too soon because I thought that could be the end of him.
"This decision could give him a chance of playing again," said Vaughan.
"It must be very difficult after what he's gone through because I know the one thing that Tres loves doing more than anything is playing cricket for England."
I don't think anyone can understand what he's going through
The 31-year-old opener, who had to return from the Ashes tour before the first Test, has been playing well for Somerset this season and was named in the provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty 20 in September.
But he informed the selectors on Wednesday that he was not ready for the demands of international cricket.
Trescothick admitted the selectors might lose patience with him, although they have given him every reassurance possible that they are keen to welcome him back when he feels he is ready.
And his friend Vaughan, having played alongside Trescothick in the England side for eight years, had sympathy for Trescothick's predicament.
"I don't think anyone can understand what he's going through," admitted Vaughan.
"Unless you've actually been through a stress-related illness I don't think any of us can understand.
"I haven't been through it myself but I have every respect for the decision he's made and a lot of respect for the way he's coped with it over the last few months because it can't have been easy."