Paralympic star Michael McKillop is facing the prospect of retirement as a result of a groin injury.
The Ireland runner has been troubled by the injury for over a year and has not competed sine clinching double gold at last year’s IPC World Championships in London.
The 28-year-old is set to have surgery over the coming weeks but McKillop says there is no guarantee it will resolve the issue.
He told BBC Sport NI: “There’s a high possibility that my race could be run.”
The nine-time world champion had hoped to end his career with a fifth Paralympic title in Tokyo in 2020, outlining his goal after securing gold at the Rio Paralympics.
The Glengormley man still hopes to achieve his aim, but he acknowledges there is a ‘high possibility’ that he may be unable to take part.
“Hopefully, touch wood, I can still get to Tokyo,” added McKillop, who was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy.
“I still have the plan I talked about after winning in Rio. I want to take that number one spot and walk off the track.
“If that is to be the case, I have to do surgery.
“But there is a high possibility that the surgeon might say, ‘you know what, we might fix it but after eight weeks of rehab it might get sore again’.”
McKillop has also been affected by mental health issues and has spoken before about the problems he faced, telling the BBC his participation in Rio had been in doubt as a result.
He had sessions with NHS and private psychologists and now talks about the problems he faced when he makes public appearances.