Roma full-back Federico Balzaretti has conceded that his long-term pelvis injury may force him to call time on his career.
The 32-year-old has not featured in a competitive match since Roma's 1-1 draw with Sassuolo in Serie A last November.
Despite undergoing surgery in the United States and further treatment in Germany, Balzaretti admits he is still in serious discomfort and, with no sign of an imminent return, he admits that retirement is a possibility.
"I wanted to hold this press conference to give you the latest on my injury and explain what I'm going through," he said.
"The issue came up around 10 months ago - I felt pain in my pelvis after the Torino game. As I'd never experienced anything like that, I just thought the pain would pass and I played the following game against Sassuolo.
"At the end of the match I had to stop and we noticed the injury to my pelvis.
"We tried an operation in the United States but it didn't produce great results. Then we tried a number of other things in Germany.
"This injury prevents me from doing even the most basic things on the field - every time I kick the ball it flares up.
"I want to be honest with the fans, just as I have been with my team-mates - sadly I still have months of rehab ahead of me.
"Sadly, this pain might end my career, but I want to say that I'll do everything I can to get back out there. I still feel like a footballer and I will try to get over this injury.
"I feel bad for my team-mates, I feel guilty and I would like to be able to experience the highs and lows with them."
The Italy international moved to Stadio Olimpico in August 2012 and has also represented the likes of Juventus, Fiorentina and Palermo during his career.
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