Joey Barton has admitted Fleetwood Town midfielder Ryan Taylor is considering retirement at the end of the season.
The former Newcastle United team-mates joined forces in September with Taylor out of contract after leaving Indian Super League side ATK.
He made 11 appearances for Town but his cameo off the bench in the 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers in December now looks set to be his last for Town with his contract set to expire.
After falling out of favour the versatile full-back and midfielder has been sidelined in recent weeks with a broken nose that he sustained in a friendly against Wigan Athletic.
Town boss Barton says that Taylor is now considering ending a career that started at Tranmere Rovers in 2002 and saw him play at the highest level for Wigan and Newcastle before moving to Hull City, Port Vale and ATK before joining Town.
For good measure, he does not expect Taylor to feature in the final seven games of the season.
Barton said: “It is not looking too rosy for him.
“I will be surprised if we see him again this season.
“It is disappointing for him but it is just one of those things, the team has progressed and moved on.
“Unfortunately for him, he got injured at a couple of key times and lost momentum.
“He is having a bit of an evaluation about where he is and what he wants to do next year.
“He has had a fantastic career and he is sitting down and weighing up with his family whether he wants to continue that or move into the next phase of his life journey.”
Rangers loanee Jason Holt is also not expected to feature again this season because of a knee injury sustained in the 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley last time out.
His fellow midfielders Dean Marney (calf) and James Wallace (hamstring/ knee) are also doubts for Saturday’s clash with Southend United.
Barton said: “Marns is back on grass. He is back going now.
“Waldo had an injection, he had a bit of inflammation in his knee. He will be training next week.”