Davis Love III has backed Tiger Woods to make the US Ryder Cup team later this year if he can play 10 or 12 successive tournaments in 2016.
Woods has not played competitively since August - when he finished the Wyndham Championship at 13 under in a tie for 10th - as he continues to recover from the latest operation on his back.
The former world number one has had surgery three times in the last 18 months on the problem, having previously struggled with knee issues.
He only played 11 events on the PGA Tour in 2015 and has yet to feature this year, seeing his ranking suffer as he slipped to 445 in the world.
Woods - who has played in seven Ryder Cups, winning only once - has already been confirmed as a vice-captain for the event at Hazeltine from September 30 to October 2, and US captain Love has not ruled him out of becoming the first playing vice-captain in the history of the event.
"If he can play 10 or 12 tournaments in a row, I think he can get his game back and make our team," he told BBC World News.
"Tiger is very adamant he can handle both roles. I think Tiger will work hard enough, if his body will allow it.
"If he keeps stopping and starting, and the injuries keep piling up, it's going to be tough for him but he's very determined, we've seen that.
"He has really been held down the last few years but he can play, he proved that at Greensboro [at the Wyndham]. Get him out there on the golf course and he still wants to do it.
"He just needs a full season, like any athlete, to get himself straightened out."