Sydney:Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill fears his Test career is hanging on three simple words - carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Daily Telegraph reveals that MacGill privately suspects he may have contracted the worrying nerve disorder after bowling leg-spin since the age of six.
Caused by repetitive stress to the hand or wrist, any CTS diagnosis would almost certainly require immediate surgery.
This means that the dodgy knees that have carried him through 179 first-class matches may no longer be his greatest concern.
MacGill on Thursday refused to deny the report but said he had "nothing confirmed by anyone qualified to do so".
He, however, sent a text message to the daily saying he would not be taking the field until he was at the top of his game and that he would do anything to achieve that, including surgery if needed.
The diagnosis would certainly explain why MacGill experienced nerve problems in his right hand against Sri Lanka last week.
Punished to all parts of Bellerive Oval by the tourists, MacGill told the Australian medical staff that he could not even grip the ball properly.
MacGill is believed to be extremely worried about carpal tunnel syndrome, knowing fully well that if the scans prove his fears correct he will be off to hospital and that means his summer is over.
His knees are also a problem - they're basically bone on bone - but he also wants to avoid surgery there too, if possible.
At 36, he may not have the energy to tackle the extensive rehabilitation that goes with such an operation.
MacGill visited a specialist on Wednesday to have hand and wrist scans which, according to his management, were inconclusive.
He will have further scans on Monday.