A few days back de Villiers, who retired from all forms of international cricket in 2018, arrived in Australia to make his debut in the Big Bash League (BBL) and said he was keen to make a return.
de Villiers had tried to come out of it ahead of the 2019 World Cup, making himself available for selection. However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) selectors felt it was too late.
Speaking on the eve of South Africa's third Test against England, du Plessis said: "It's the same as what I mentioned before. We spoke and I was very keen to have him back even before the new coaching staff was on board."
"It was a process of what does the next year look like in terms of T20 cricket," he added.
The South Africa skipper said that de Villiers too wants to make a comeback, however, the time was not yet known to him.
"How many games, where, when, what? And then try to unfold that in a way that he can come back. He's keen to come back. I don't know when," said du Plessis.
"In an ideal world, we would like to make sure we can play our best 11, 12, 13 players for a few games or in a few series leading up to a T20 World Cup," he added.
In 78 T20Is, de Villers has so far scored 1672 runs, averaging 26.12 with a strike rate of 135.16. He had last featured in a T20I contest against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom on October 29, 2017.
de Villiers is currently playing in Australia's Big Bash League.
( With inputs from IANS )