(Reuters) - Seven-times world snooker champion Stephen Hendry, who retired in 2012, said he has delayed his return to the professional circuit to avoid embarrassing himself.
The 52-year-old was set to play in a Pro Series tournament in Milton Keynes from Wednesday 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.
"The aim is to possibly play at the Crucible (in the World Championship in April) so I would have to play in something before those qualifiers," Hendry told the British media.
"The Welsh Open in February could be an option now. The Pro Series is played over two phases, this month and in March. I requested to play in March and said when I entered it I would withdraw if I was drawn to play in January.
"I'm just not ready and haven't played. I would embarrass myself. I might do that in March, but I definitely would this month."
Hendry turned professional as a 16-year-old and won his first world title in 1990.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)