England prop Phil Vickery says his career may be over.
The 30-year-old, who has won 47 caps, had his third back operation in January and it may be July before he can test how well his recovery is going.
“To be honest I don’t know if I can get back to play at all yet,” he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
“I am still in the early stages of my recovery. It could be July before I hit a scrum machine again. I may find that my back is not good enough.”
Whatever happens Vickery is leaving Gloucester at the end of the season after 11 years at Kingsholm. He said part of his reason for quitting Gloucester was that he did not want to let the fans get frustrated if his fitness let him down.
“I don’t want people to get negative towards me because of breaking down with injury if it becomes irreparable,” he said. “I want people to have good memories of me.”