After a recent stint playing in England caused a familiar stress-fracture in the back to flare up once again for Australian fast bowler Jason Behrendorff, it could really have been the last straw for him.
"Do I actually want to do this? Do I want to keep going? Is it worth it, all the pain you go through (with) your body or through rehab?”, Behrendorff told cricket.com.au in an interview.
"When I hurt it over in England, that thought certainly crossed my mind. And the thing I kept coming back to was: I'm not done yet.”
Behrendorff was a star of Australia’s World Cup campaign, but has been plagued by injuries ever since. He looks at James Pattinson, who played a crucial role in the Ashes against England as an example of how he can make a similar return from injury, after going through surgery.
"I know in myself that I'll do whatever it takes to get back. I'm not exactly sure what that is at this stage. But once I do, I'll put all my eggs in that basket and make sure I'm doing everything I can to get right,” he continued.
“Thinking outside of cricket is a scary thought. I've been fortunate to play in the state and international system for a few years now and … you never want to give that up.
"It'll be something that will be tough to do when the time comes to give it away and I certainly hope it's later rather than sooner."
The surgery Behrendorff is referring to is by New Zealand surgeon Graham Inglis, who resurrected Pattinson’s career, as well as those of several Kiwi players with a procedure that involved vertebrae being binded together by screws and wires.
On his end, Behrendorff has done his research and spoken to many of Inglis’ patients, who have glowingly talked about its benefits. Still, the decision to go under the knife is a daunting one.
"(Red-ball cricket is) probably the furthest thing from my mind at the moment," Behrendorff said. "I hope it's not done, though, especially if I go down the path of surgery.
"We've seen how Patto has come back and played in the recent Ashes series, so maybe it'll give me a chance to do that.
"I've spoken to Patto and I've also spoken to (Sydney Sixers left-armer) Ben Dwarshuis, who's had a similar surgery done, and also (former NZ quick) Shane Bond.
"They've all been very complimentary with what they've had done and the way it's helped them continue to play cricket.
"Unfortunately I've had the same (injury) over the last few years and if that (surgery) is going to be an opportunity to have more of a permanent fix, I'm definitely going to look into it.”