Winger Ashley Vincent has revealed he thought his Colchester United career was over in the early aftermath of his most recent injury.
The 26-year-old damaged knee ligaments in August, but did not suffer cruciate damage as first feared.
"I think I had convinced myself it was the end of the season for me," he told BBC Essex.
"That would probably have been the end of my Colchester career as my contract's up in the summer."
Scans showed the injury, picked up in a draw against Wycombe, was only a strain, and Vincent is in the process of stepping up his return to action.
But the setback is the latest in a long list for the former Cheltenham midfielder.
"It was a bitter pill to swallow because I thought I'd done particularly well in that game up until the injury, and I thought I'd done alright in the previous games," he said.
"It's up to me now to get that strength and fitness back and work my way back into the team."
And regarding his future in Essex, he added: "I've not spoken to the gaffer, I've not spoken to the club about it.
"I had a good think in the summer with my family, they live back in the Midlands and I'm down here most of the week alone, and I desperately want to play football games.
"Since I've been here, not through the fault of anyone, I haven't played as many games as I wanted to and I thought this was the season I was going to do it but injury struck."