Rangers midfielder Steven Davis admits he has no idea if or when he will play professional football again.
The 38-year-old Northern Ireland international suffered a double ACL tear just before Christmas and was facing at least six months on the sidelines.
But Davis is refusing to let the injury force him into retirement.
“I’ve got to be realistic, it’s a big injury and takes a lot of time to come back from,” Davis told BBC Northern Ireland.
“At my age and the stage I’m at in my career I know it’s going to be difficult but I’ve always been a very fit person so that should stand me in good stead and give me the best possible chance [of playing again].
“I haven’t made any decisions about moving forward, I’ll just concentrate on ‘rehabbing’ to the best of my ability and stay focused. I don’t want this to be the defining moment that ends my career.”
Davis is the most capped British footballer of all time but he has not given up hope of adding to his 140 international appearances. He would also like to play again for Rangers, although his contract with the Ibrox side expires this summer.
“Everybody knows how much it means to me to play for Northern Ireland, the relationship I’ve had with the fans and country throughout my career,” he said.
“The prospect of pulling on the green shirt again, and the Rangers shirt, is a driving factor for me, although I know it is going to be a long and difficult road ahead.
“If the rehab goes well I may have a chance to be involved in the last few international games of the year, but before that it’d be nice to be there with the squad, part of the camp for a change of scenery and to add something to the group and be amongst it.”
Davis underwent surgery last month and is finding the early stages of his rehabilitation mentally gruelling. He plans to take his coaching badges this year as he opens his mind to life after playing.
“The last few weeks have been slow progress but I have to try and show patience and it is a chance for me to learn and grow as a person,” he said.
“I haven’t had the experience of a real long-term injury during my career so I’m thankful in the sense but frustrated because at my age you don’t know how long you have left in football as a player and you want to maximise that time you have left.
“Mentally it’s been more difficult than I expected, coming in every day and not seeing the progress on a daily basis.
“You have to hit certain targets as you go along, break it into five or six-week phases, tick a box and then move on to the next phase.
“I’m still in the initial phase, getting the swelling down and the range back in the leg, assessing things as we go along.
“It’s difficult watching matches, knowing that you might not get an opportunity to do that again but I’m very driven to try and get myself back out there.
“It gives me time to grow away from that too, whether that be looking into my coaching or doing something outside of that, make the most of my time.
“I still need to do my coaching badges. That’s one I want to tick off this year.”