Goulding, 33, is player-coach at Rochdale Hornets and suffered the injury inspiring them to victory over Castleford on Sunday - the National League One leaders' first defeat of the season. "I'm booked in to see the surgeon, but it's not looking good. The bicep has come off the bone," he said.
"I've been playing every week and my fitness was coming, but I was already having my ankle done at the end of the season, so this was always my swan-song."
If Goulding is forced to retire, it will bring to an end an eventful and turbulent career. His clubs included Wigan, Leeds, Widnes and St Helens, while his Test career brought him 17 caps.
Another National League coach could be missing for much of the rest of the season. Andy Kelly, of the National League Two side Dewsbury, has been having tests on his kidneys and could need an operation to remove a growth.
"It is likely that Andy may well require surgery," said a statement from Dewsbury, who stressed that he will remain first-team coach. During any absence, his assistant, James Ratcliffe, and three senior players - Ryan Sheridan, Francis Maloney and Warren Jowitt - will take on extra responsibilities.
Wigan's signing for next season, Scott Logan, has suffered an injury which could keep him out of the remainder of the campaign. The former Hull prop broke his thumb in South Sydney's victory over Cronulla last weekend and will be out for at least six weeks.
The Wigan winger Brian Carney hopes to be released from the year left on his contract so that he can join the Newcastle Knights for next season. Carney is already contracted to the new Gold Coast club from 2007.
Chris Jones, St Helens' signing from Sale, has been sent on loan to Leigh to get some rugby league experience. The centre made his debut as a substitute in Leigh's defeat at Huddersfield on Sunday. The Giants' Paul Reilly, will face the Rugby League's disciplinary committee today after being sent off for illegal use of the elbow on Leigh's Danny Halliwell during that game.
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