Jordan Thompson is upbeat Thanasi Kokkinakis will be fit enough to partner him in the Australian Open next week.
Australian young gun Kokkinakis was a last-minute withdrawal from the Sydney International on Tuesday, removing himself from a clash with compatriot Thompson because of an abdominal strain.
The 20-year-old had been poised to make his long-awaited singles comeback after enduring shoulder, pectoral and groin injuries during a 15-month stretch on the tour sidelines.
Kokkinakis is on Wednesday expected to learn more about his hopes of contesting the Open. The South Australian has been booked in for scans, with medicos upbeat his latest setback is minor.
Thompson believes Kokkinakis, who suffered the injury during the pair's victory in the final of the Brisbane International doubles, will be given the all clear to at least play doubles at Melbourne Park.
'I think it's more cautionary. He doesn't want to come back too early. He's got the biggest tournament next week,' Thompson said after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5 6-2 in the first round of the Sydney International.
'I think so (he will be passed fit and play at the Open).
'When he pulled out, I gave him a call. He didn't answer. I knew he was up in the player lounge. He was actually up with his family.
'I came up and said 'are you going to be all right for doubles?' That was pretty much it. We had a chat about it.'
Thompson accounted for lucky loser Basilashvili, called up following Kokkinakis' withdrawal, with ease.
But he admitted changing opponents on the day of a match was a different sort of challenge.
'It's weird when you're drawn to play someone, and that was about three or four days ago, and I was getting ready to play him and he pulls out last minute,' Thompson said.
'It's tough, but I think I adapted well.'
Regardless of how Thompson fares against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, the Sydneysider already feels like he's living a dream.
'I used to watch this when I was a kid. I lived about 20 minutes away. I was always watching the tournament over the summer, always dreamed of playing it,' he said.
'To play on Ken Rosewall Arena and win in front of my home crowd and family and friends is awesome.'