Snooker legend Stephen Hendry says he has delayed his comeback over concerns that he would “embarrass” himself.
The seven-time champion, 52, was set to make his return in a Pro Series tournament in Milton Keynes this week after accepting a two-year tour card in September.
However, he pulled out of the event due to a lack of sharpness and may now look to next month's Welsh Open instead.
'Dreadful and embarrassing' – Ford slams performance despite winning group
“I did say that if I was drawn to play in January I would pull out because I have not played," said Hendry.
“I am not ready. I would just embarrass myself. I might embarrass myself in March but I definitely would this week with no practice.
“I want to be able to at least give myself a chance of playing quite well. If you have not practiced you can't go in against these guys and expect to do anything so that was my reason.”
Hendry is arguably the greatest snooker of all-time and topped the world rankings every year from 1990 to 1998.
He also won the World Championship a record seven times, and says he is keen to play again in the tournament, which runs from April 17 to May 3 this year.
'I didn't give up' - Yan joins Eurosport studio after winning title
“The aim is to play at Sheffield again. That's my goal. To try and possibly play in the World Championship again would be incredible," he said.
"I have to play before that. I can't just go there cold. The Welsh Open in February is looking an option. It is not a full-time comeback, I must stress that."
O'Sullivan pulls out of British Open
'A bit rusty' – Hawkins aims to impress after starting season with victory