The 115-test lock had planned to skip the Super Rugby season while completing a short-term contract with Robbie Deans's Panasonic Wild Knights but has returned home after Japan's domestic competition was cancelled last month.
Super Rugby, along with all competitions in New Zealand, has been suspended as part of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, but if action resumes Whitelock hopes to play for Scott Robertson's Crusaders or the Canterbury provincial side.
"But we are back in New Zealand at the moment and we will make our way back to Christchurch once we are allowed to travel a bit further.
As a board member of New Zealand's players union, Whitelock has been heavily involved in scenario planning with governing body New Zealand Rugby and local teams as to how a restart of the season might unfold.
The All Blacks international season is scheduled to start in July with two tests against Wales and one against Scotland but the matches are in doubt due to travel restrictions and border controls to contain the new coronavirus.
Players would also need a three to four week lead-in before any restart to get match-fit, Whitelock said.
"There are a number of calendars out there that we are debating. As players, we just have to be ready to go when we do get the information from the government saying we can get into it at this level," he added.
One of the proposals that has been floated is a North Island versus South Island match, a once regular annual fixture in New Zealand until the mid-1980s.
The last such match was held in Dunedin in 2012 to raise money for the financially troubled Otago rugby union. South won 32-24.
"For me personally, Iâ€™ve never played a North v South match and Iâ€™ve heard a few great stories about how it used to be the grudge match of the year," said Whitelock.
"We are looking at that and All Blacks trials if we canâ€™t travel internationally."
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)