Steve Watson could have played his last game for Sheffield Wednesday after being ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Owls captain has undergone a hip operation to cure a persistent injury and he will be sidelined for four months.
Watson's contract expires in the summer and the 34-year-old accepts he may not secure an extension at Hillsborough.
"There could not be a worse time for me for this to happen because I will be out of contract while I am still injured," Watson told the club's official website.
"I fully understand the club can't offer me anything in this situation and until I've got back to training again I won't know."
Owls boss Brian Laws praised the midfielder for pushing himself through the pain barrier and admits Watson's injury is a blow to the club.
Laws said: "Steve will be out for the rest of season. He could no longer take the pain and, having seen the surgeon, it was decided that immediate action was necessary.
"It is obviously a big loss for us because he is a quality player and a fit Steve Watson is a valuable player.
"Unfortunately he is in the last year of his contract and that has put him in a difficult position, but we will talk to Steve about that as matters progress."