Wayne Gardner says countryman Casey Stoner may face a "pretty hard call" over the prospect of making MotoGP appearances as a Ducati wildcard this year.
The dual world champion returns to Ducati in 2016 in a test and ambassadorial role, having spent the three seasons since his retirement as a Honda test rider.
While the prospect of Stoner racing as a wildcard has been raised as a natural extension of his Ducati reunion, the 30-year-old maintains he has "no plans" to race this year.
Stoner returned to action with Ducati during the recent Sepang test, on the marque's GP15, and he will also take part in the final pre-season test in Qatar next month.
Gardner, the 1987 500cc world champion, agrees testing would ultimately shape any decision.
"If he feels comfortable and feels like he's competitive and that his times are good, he might come out and do one or two races, who knows," he told Autosport.
"Usually, it's a pretty hard call to do, to be honest.
"To go away and be out of it for three years, it's hard to come back after that and fight competitively at the front.
"But you never know, he's an extremely talented rider."
Stoner was fifth fastest on the final day of the test, and the lead factory Ducati rider as Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso came to grips with the 2016 bike.
Based on his own experience after retiring from motorcycle racing at the end of 1992, Gardner says one-off appearances would be a big ask.
"You have to get yourself honed in and, personally, I would say it takes about 12 months to get back in," Gardner, who now contests World GP Legends races, added.
"Come back and bash away at it for a while and make sure you're enjoying it.
"Many times I thought about coming back, but then when you go out and crash a bike you go, 'mmmm, I don't really want to do that again'.
"Everyone's different, everyone has a different opinion.
"He's certainly talented enough to come back, he's just got to stick at it, I would think, for two or three years."