Another injury to an already wonky right knee has forced Calgary Roughnecks transition sensation Jesse Phillips to start contemplating retirement.
Phillips has already given up summer ball but this latest incident has forced him to mull hanging up his stick for good.
"It's definitely in my head," said Phillips. "You want to play but if you can't contribute like you used to ... It's tough. I don't want to just hang on and play at half the level I used to be able to play at. I'm not that type of person. So, I have thought about it."
The 30-year-old had surgery on his right knee in October and went through a painful recovery. He's only played in four games this season and tweaked the knee in warm-up before the Feb. 17 loss to the Edmonton Rush but played the game anyway.
Phillips has been placed on injured reserve and took two weeks off before getting on a stationary bike. He hopes to try the knee in a game situation soon to gauge the damage.
After that, he'll have to make a decision on his future in the NLL.
"It's a real touchy situation," said Phillips. "After the surgery, the doctor basically said this is it. You can't really hurt it anymore. There's basically no cartilage left there.
"This is basically the end of the line if it gets hurt bad again. You can only have it scoped so many times."
"We'll just see how it is the next few weeks and how it holds out," he added. "It's just been a tough year."
Losing the former all-star and the key spark plug in the team's transition game, even short term, is a major hit to the Roughnecks, said Riggers GM Kurt Silcott.
"Losing a guy like Jesse is certainly a blow," said Silcott. "But, we're lucky enough this year to have the depth that hopefully we can deal with it. Still, you never like losing a guy with that much heart, that much energy and that much love for the game."