Jacob Oram says he may have to give up bowling in order to prolong his international career.
The injury-plagued all-rounder, 30, returned home from the recent visit to Bangladesh in order to get specialist advice after feeling stiffness and pain in his back.
Although a MRI scan cleared Oram of serious injury, he was ruled out of the Black Caps' tour of Australia and admits his body is struggling to cope with the demands of international cricket.
"If I want longevity in the game, I don't think I can go along doing what I'm doing now and hope to play for another four or five or six years," he told Radio Sport.
"I just can't see that happening."
On the decision to sit out the tour of Australia, he added: "We could have tested it, trialled it, maybe even gone and had a fitness test to see if I could have made it.
"But the worrying thing was that it isn't 100 percent at the moment, and if we made it even worse then it meant the West Indies series (in December) was probably in jeopardy."