The Australian only competed sporadically in 2016 after a tumultuous previous year in which he survived an infamous shark attack in South Africa, and dealt with his brother's death and a marriage breakup.
"It was nice to have 2016 off somewhat and decompress but I'm excited to put the singlet on again," Fanning, 35, said in a statement.
"2015 was a tough year. A lot happened to me on camera and in my personal life. I just felt exhausted by the end of it."
Fanning made global headlines when he fought off a great white shark on live television during the J-Bay Open in South Africa. He survived the terrifying ordeal unscathed but it rattled him.