Tim Henman is confident he will be fit enough to play in next week's BA-CA Tennis Trophy in Vienna after he accepted a wildcard for the event.
The British number one has a lingering back problem and has not played since losing in the first round of the US Open in August.
"My back is getting better by the day," Henman told his personal website.
"If I really push myself this week and don't suffer any adverse reaction then I'm sure I'll be ready to play."
Henman, who won this tournament in 2000, has slipped from sixth at the start of the year to 28th in the rankings and withdrew from this week's AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
"I've been training and practising well for a while now but I felt I wasn't quite ready to play matches in Tokyo," Henman added.
"I want to try to play as many matches as possible between now and the end of the year, so my intention is to play in Vienna, Madrid, Basle and Paris.
"One of the reasons I've been holding off my return is that I wanted to try to make sure that when I did compete I was going to be able to play back-to-back matches without any problems.
"I feel if this week goes according to plan I'll be ready to do that in Vienna."