Injury has continued to plague Venus Williams, with the seven-time Grand Slam champion forced to pull out of next week's Australian Open.
The American 31-year-old played in just four tournaments last year, as she battled Sjogren's syndrome - an illness causing fatigue and joint pain.
Williams - now ranked 100th on the WTA Tour - had a torrid 2011, which began with her retirement from her third-round clash with Andrea Petkovic at Melbourne Park.
She managed to front up for further Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open, but she retired from the latter after winning her first-round match.
Williams made the fourth round in London - where she is a five-time champion - before losing to Tsevtana Pironkova.
The older sister of Australian Open favourite Serena, Williams released a statement on her website stating her intentions to return to the competitive scene in the near future.
"After several months of training and treatment, I am making steady progress to top competitive form," the statement read.
"My diet and fitness regimen have allowed me to make great strides in terms of my health and I am very close to being ready to return to WTA competition. I have every intention to return to the circuit in February."