Sydney Swans defender Nick Smith's AFL future is in doubt with the veteran to miss the rest of the season due to his persistent hamstring injury.
Smith suffered the injury in round 21 last season and underwent surgery to repair it at the time.
He had further surgery in May this year but has been unable to return to full training and will now require further surgery.
Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner said it was the best way forward for Smith, 31.
"It's incredibly disappointing for Nick and for us, as he is a key part of our defensive group and an outstanding on field leader," Gardiner said.
"He has worked tirelessly in his rehabilitation over the past 10 months and we were hoping to have him back playing in the second half of the season.
"While he won't play again this season, Nick remains an important part of the leadership group and will continue to assist in developing our young players."
Smith has been an integral part of the Swans' set-up since 2008.
He has played 211 games for the club and was a member of their 2012 premiership winning side as well as being named in the 2014 All Australian team.
The Swans said in a statement that a decision on Smith's playing future beyond this season would "be made in due course".