Hartlepool midfielder Nolberto Solano may be forced to retire having been ruled out for the rest of the season due to an unspecified illness.
The 37-year-old's contract at Victoria Park is due to expire in the summer, although the club has the option of extending it for another 12 months.
The former Peru international, a free signing last May following his release from Hull, has not played for Pools since their home defeat to Scunthorpe on January 2.
A club statement read: "Hartlepool United can announce that unfortunately Nolberto Solano will not be available for first-team selection for the remainder of the season due to a recurring illness, and under medical advice he has been informed that he cannot play for the club.
"The club would like to wish Nolberto a speedy recovery. Although his contract is due to expire at the end of this season, the club does have the option, at its discretion, at the end of May to extend it by one more year."
Solano first arrived in England from Boca Juniors in a £2.8million deal which saw him join Newcastle in 1998.
He later had a spell at Aston Villa before returning to St James' Park, then he went on to play for West Ham, Leicester and Hull and was considered a major coup for Pools when he arrived at the club last May.