Mansfield manager Adam Murray says defender Luke Jones will almost certainly have to retire because of an Achilles tendon injury.
Jones, 28, has not played for the Stags since rejoining them from Stevenage for a third spell in May 2014.
"He's had two years of hell. His main focus is being able to live day-to-day life as best he can," Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"He still can't walk to 100% and we're gutted for him as a football club."
Mansfield are currently seventh in League Two and occupying the final play-off spot.
Murray added: "The specialist has said that if he were to risk coming back then it could impact on his ability to get around so that is something he is going to have to deal with."
Jones made 25 league appearances in his first spell with the club before helping them to promotion back to the Football League in 2012-13, scoring eight goals in 33 league games.