Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist Tom Reed says he will put his bid for Olympic qualification on hold to have surgery on his elbow.
Wiltshire's Reed, 29, says he still has not given up hope of making it to Rio 2016 but admits time is running out.
Reed has been on a waiting list for surgery for six months but hopes he will be fit to return by March.
"I've got to a point where I realise I need to get it fixed," Reed told BBC Wiltshire.
Bath-based Reed collected silver after losing to compatriot Owen Livesey in the 81kg final at Glasgow 2014.
He missed out on selection for the London Games in 2012 but says he was left with no choice but to have surgery and risk miss out on an Olympic place again.
"I have had a cortisone injection to get the inflammation down," he added. "I've taken so many anti-inflammatories my stomach is very sensitive as it takes away the lining and that has contributed to be getting ill quite a lot. It's really not been great.
"The surgery is relatively straight forward, the recovery is six weeks but the big question is when I get that surgery. I'm on a waiting list and have been waiting six months. Now it looks like after Christmas so if it is I'll be competing in March. That will only get me three or four tournaments left in the Olympic qualification."
And he says he knows he will have to win medals in those remaining tournaments to earn qualification.
"I haven't given up hope," he added.
"I'll come back after the operation with a short window so I am going to have to perform and get medals in those tournaments. I know now to qualify I need to be 100% and if I am then anything is possible but it's going to be difficult."