Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has said that he may be forced to retire at the age of 30 due to a persistent knee injury.
The former Hearts shot-stopper has been without a club since leaving Sunderland at the end of last season.
He moved to Wearside in 2007 to join the then manager of the Black Cats, Roy Keane, for a record transfer fee of Â£9 million (10.5 million euros) and initially impressed between the sticks.
But his latter years at the northeast club were wrecked by a succession of injuries, including two broken arms and then the knee injury.
Ongoing problems with the knee have meant that he has been without a club this season.
Gordon was among Dumbarton manager Ian Murray's backroom team on Saturday after taking up an offer to help out on an informal basis and he admits coaching could be his future.
Gordon told Dumbarton's website: "It's very unlikely I will be playing again this season. In fact I'm not sure if I'll play again, so I'm looking to get into coaching as I want to remain in the game.
"I'm not ruling out playing again, but I need to get things in place if the news is not good in that respect."
He added in a number of national newspapers: "I've had a couple of surgeries on it, but it's definitely not back to 100 per cent yet.
"Hopefully I can get back to playing with a bit of pain. It's about getting to a stage where I can get what I need to out of the knee.
"That's part of the reason I wanted to go into coaching, you don't know when the end might come for playing.
"I'm certainly not ready to throw in the towel just yet but it's been a long time and I don't know where I'll be going in the future."