Ronnie O'Sullivan has called a press conference for Tuesday during which he will announce his future plans, with many speculating over a return to the table.
The four-time world champion withdrew from all snooker tournaments in November, saying that he needed time away from the game for personal reasons.
The deadline for entry into this year's world championships is on Thursday and it is expected that O'Sullivan could reveal on Tuesday that he will defend his crown.
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Barry Hearn, who spoke to O'Sullivan 10 days ago, is hoping that 'The Rocket' will return.
"I hope very much for Ronnie's sake, and for snooker because he's a huge name, that he's reconsidered and will defend his title," Hearn told The Telegraph.
"I can't see a lot of point in having a press conference, having already announced he's not playing, to confirm that.
"[When we spoke] he was moving towards 'I'd like to play, I'd like to defend my title'"
O'Sullivan has threatened to quit snooker several times over the years, and has struggled with depression throughout his career. He recently got engaged, and has been working on a farm in Essex since November.