Dane Haylett-Petty's playing future is in the balance after the Wallabies star suffered a major set-back in his recovery from ongoing concussion symptoms.
The Melbourne Rebels captain made a comeback after six months out through Brisbane club rugby at the start of the month.
While he came through the game unscathed Haylett-Petty's symptoms resumed when he returned to training last week to prepare for Melbourne's opening Trans-Tasman Super Rugby clash with the Blues at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
"Last week he didn't get through training," Melbourne interim coach Kevin Foote told AAP.
"He was fine after the game, it was actually during training, and there was no knock or any contact or anything, it just sort of crept up on him and he's having these constant headaches again."
In the hands of a specialist and taking medication for the issue, the 31-year-old is now evaluating his future.
"He's going through a process now which is going to decide his future and we won't rush him," said Foote, who took over from Dave Wessels who stepped down at the end of Super Rugby AU.
Haylett-Petty, who has played 38 Tests, suffered a knock in a Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks on October 31 last year and missed the entire Super Rugby AU season.
He was frustrated by migraines when he tried to run in the early weeks of his head injury although recovered enough to take the step into club rugby.
Off contract at the end of 2021, Haylett-Petty said last month that he would retire if that was the medical advice.
"If the specialist told me to retire, I'd back them and retire and they've said that's not necessary at all," Haylett-Petty said.
He said he was still motivated to play on, either in Australia or overseas with Japan or Europe options.
"I still love pulling on that gold jersey. I'd love to get back in that Wallabies squad and fight for that position and play for the Wallabies again," he said.
"I haven't ruled out the possibility of going overseas as well."