Mark Baldwin admits he might not play rugby again after undergoing surgery following a knee injury for the second time in two years.
The Dubbo Kangaroos and Central Blue Bulls star is likely to miss both the 2020 and 2021 campaigns after suffering an ACL injury while playing touch football in the off-season.
It was the same injury he suffered while on representative duty with the Blue Bulls early in the 2018 season.
"It's just one of those things. Obviously it wasn't strong enough so I've got to do it all again," he said, having had the surgery last year.
"The basic recovery time is between 12 and 18 months so it's looking like it could be two seasons out and then it will be a personal decision."
Central West Rugby Union CEO Matt Tink stated earlier in the week he'd love to Baldwin around the Blue Bulls again in some capacity heading into the 2020 Caldwell Cup.
Baldwin, a hard-running and hard-hitting flanker, missed the start of last season but still took part in the pre-season tour of New Zealand before returning to the paddock to captain Central West to country championship glory.
And while he's happy to assist the Roos and Blue Bulls at time, the understandable slight disenchantment with the game after such serious injuries virtually back-to-back means he won't be on the sideline week after week.
"I'm pretty frustrated at not being able to play and I've said to the coaches I can definitely help if they need it but I don't want to be completely committed," he said.
"I was happy to do it the first time but maybe that frustration has grown a little and there's a question if I can play again.
"While I don't know what the future is looking like I won't commit to helping out permanently."
Baldwin described the timing of the injury as "particularly cruel".
He suffered the blow only a matter of weeks after the 2019 season and just days before he was due to link up with the NSW Country Cockatoos squad
Baldwin had achieved plenty in his career before arriving at Dubbo in 2017, having captained Randwick's first grade side and been a part of the NSW Country Eagles' squad but the Cockatoos was something he was eager to tick off.
"I had to call the coaches and tell them. It was just one of those things," he said.
While Baldwin won't feature on the park this season, or possibly again, he is still backing the Dubbo Kangaroos to produce an improved showing in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
The Roos have been pack at training for a number of weeks while many senior members of the playing group have been taking part in a new strength and conditioning program as well.
"In the time I've been here there hasn't been an organised strength and conditioning program," Baldwin said.
"Coming from Sydney, blokes were always doing it.
"It's good to see [coach] Beau [Robinson] has got them committed to doing the work and hopefully that transcends to the field.
"Being stronger and fitter can only help and that's probably something the Roos have lacked, the physicality and that endurance."
The Roos start their Blowes Clothing Cup campaign at home against the Bathurst Bulldogs on April 18.