Sharapova has not played since August when she was forced to withdraw from the US Open with a right shoulder injury.
The glamorous Russian had earlier suffered a hip injury, which saw her pull out of two tournaments in July, before a shock first-round loss to Sloane Stephens in Cincinatti in early August.
But speaking in Brisbane on the eve of her first tournament of the new season, Sharapova said she was ready to return to the tour under the guidance of new coach Sven Groeneveld.
usual because in the last few years I always had a little injury here and there,” she said.
“So that was nice, because I gave myself time to recover and get better.”
The 26-year-old said she wanted to ensure she did not return to the tour until she was completely recovered.
“I knew from the moment I withdrew from the (US) Open that I was going to give myself the right amount of time that I needed — whether that was a week, a month, a few months, I didn’t know. Nobody really knew,” she said.
“I’ve played with an injured shoulder for a while, so it was really important for me to take that time,” she added.
“I started quite early, so I made it into two parts.
“I started slow, took a little bit of a break, and then geared up again with a little bit more intensity.”
Spotted: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and other celebs at Mumbai airport
Photos: Salman Khan's 'special friend' Iulia Vantur at a song launch
In Pictures: Sex scandals involving Indian politicians
Photos: Abhishek Bachchan and Farah Khan at Boman Irani's birthday bash
Spotted: Shah Rukh Khan at Morani's bungalow in Mumbai