Zhuhai - Andy Murray said Sunday it would be "naive" and "silly" to think he will ever return to being the player that surged to number one in the world.
Murray believes this crucial period in his rehabilitation will provide some answers as to how good he can be again -- but is under no illusions about the longer term.
"I think it would be probably a bit naive and silly to think that would be the case.
Murray, who surged to the top of the world rankings in 2016, plays Tennys Sandgren, ranked 69, at the inaugural event in Zhuhai, southern China this week.
Although Murray lost in the last 16 in Mallorca against the unheralded Matteo Viola, he was pleased he came through three matches in four days without any complications.
"I had a glimpse these last few months and it was brilliant.
Winning "a couple of matches" at each tournament would be a success, he said, with building up his speed and stamina the priorities on the tortuous road to recovery.