The AFL future of Eric Mackenzie is up in the air after the West Coast defender suffered a flare-up of his troublesome toe injury.
Mackenzie underwent surgery in October to correct a rare condition known as hallux rigidus, which causes stiffness and inflammation in his big toes.
But a change in his running style stemming from the surgery then led to stress fractures in both his feet.
Mackenzie made his long-awaited return via the WAFL on June 16 and the Eagles were hopeful the 2014 club champion would be available for AFL selection in the back-end of the season.
But his future is now in doubt after his toe condition flared up after his comeback game.
"We are working through exactly what the issues are with his feet and we sought a second opinion from a surgeon given the setbacks," said general manager of football Craig Vozzo.
"At this stage we can't predict when he is going to be able to return to play, but we will take a conservative approach to make sure we get that right."
Mackenzie's one-year contract expires at the end of the season.
And given the nature of his complicated injury, the 30-year-old faces an uphill battle to earn a new deal.
Mackenzie has played 147 AFL games - just three short of earning life membership at West Coast.
If his career is brought to an early halt it would be a sad end for a player who was considered one of the AFL's best key defenders in 2013 and 2014.
Mackenzie ruptured the ACL in his right knee on the eve of the 2015 season and he struggled to regain top form after that.
However, he did produce a passage of play in the 2017 elimination final win over Port Adelaide that has become part of West Coast folklore.
With the scores locked at 60-60 and the ball rolling towards Port Adelaide's goal area, Mackenzie collected it and slammed into the behind post, forcing a throw-in with just 38 seconds remaining.
West Coast went on to win the game in extra-time courtesy of Luke Shuey's after-the-siren goal.
The Eagles will be aiming to snap a two-game losing streak when they take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Defender Tom Barrass (back) has been ruled out for a third straight week, while spearhead Josh Kennedy (leg) will miss at least another two weeks.
Jack Darling (ankle) is still at least three weeks away from playing again, but the Eagles are hopeful forward Mark LeCras (wrist) will be able to face the Crows.