Veteran Australia paceman Brett Lee has conceded he may never play for his country again as he battles to recover from elbow surgery.
The 33-year-old underwent an operation on what he has described as the most painful injury of his career in December, which has sidelined him for the entire Australian summer.
Lee also missed the Ashes Test series last year after suffering a side strain before the opening Test in Cardiff as injuries have taken their toll following a decade-long international career that has yielded 310 wickets in 76 Tests.
The quick has not played a Test for his country since late 2008 and while he has remained an important part of Australia's one-day team in that period, he is unconvinced he will ever wear the baggy green again.
"As far as my cricket goes, anything is possible - I may play one-dayers, or no cricket at all," he said.
"I may never bowl another ball and if that's the case, I'm so satisfied with my career and my longevity. I'm not saying it's definitely over, but I'm not sure what I want to be just yet.
"To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what I still want to do in my cricketing life. I need to get to the stage where, if I want to, I can do what I need to do on the field.
"If it's the case that I don't play again, well, that's the case. There is a part of me that would like to play some sort of cricket again."
Lee has suffered his fair share of injuries during his impressive career, but admitted his current complaint had been the most painful to endure.
And with no timescale yet on when he will be ready to return to bowling, let alone the playing field, Lee is prepared for a slow rehabilitation.
"This has been the hardest surgery I've been through. It's certainly been the most painful," Lee told the Herald Sun.
"There's no miracle treatment for me. It's taking time. I still don't know when I'll be able to bowl again. I can't even give you an exact time.
"I will see how the arm pulls up because I can't achieve any aspirations in cricket unless my body is functional.
"It just takes time really. It's something I can't rush."
In Lee's absence Australia's selectors have been forced to test the depth of the country's fast bowling stocks with reward as the likes of Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger have emerged as capable international players.
With their rise coupled with his injury concerns Lee intimated retirement may not be out of the question, revealing he would speak with the Australian team hierarchy and captain Ricky Ponting in the coming months before making up his mind.
"There'll be some key people I confide in," he said.
"I'll keep it mainly in-house then talk to the team, but at some stage I will sit down with Punter (Ponting), if that's needed.
"I'm making a lifestyle decision here as opposed to a cricketing one."