Denmark's Thomas Bjorn says Darren Clarke should be awarded one of the two wildcards for Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Bjorn (L) and Clarke celebrate during the 2002 Ryder Cup
Clarke, whose wife Heather died from cancer on 13 August, could be selected when Ian Woosnam names his team after this weekend's BMW International Open.
"If I was captain, that's the way I'd be thinking," said Bjorn, who is one of Clarke's main rivals for a wildcard.
"If he's ready to play, that's great, I can't see a team without him. He's one of the best ball-strikers in the game."
Clarke, who has not played since July, will make his competitve return in the Madrid Masters, a week before the Ryder Cup starts on 22 September at the K Club.
I would have my reasons to feel disappointed if I miss out again
If Clarke is selected, it will probably leave his friends Bjorn and Lee Westwood fighting it out for the final spot.
Bjorn would have to win the BMW International Open to have a chance of getting an automatic pick, but at the halfway stage he was in a tie for 29th place.
"Lee and I have been friends for 10 years and when it comes to a week like this it's difficult to put friendship aside and battle it out," added Bjorn.
"But there's been no banter about it between us because it means too much.
"If I don't win tomorrow then Woosie has got to make a difficult decision and one of us is going to be disappointed.
"I've been in the situation twice before where it's gone away from me when I thought I could be part of it. I know how to handle it, but I would have my reasons to feel disappointed if I miss out again.
"I'm not going to say now what they are. I'll say on Sunday if that's the way it is."