BRISBANE Lions forward Luke McGuane faces a battle with his beleaguered body if he is to win a new contract for 2016.
McGuane, 28, has struggled with crippling knee injuries in the past two seasons, enduring six surgeries, before returning to play well in the past fortnight.
McGuane's manager Tim Batty is in talks with the club, and AFL.com.au understands McGuane's future rests on whether he can get through the remaining three rounds without his body breaking down.
The former Tiger has managed just five games in two seasons with the Lions.
In his two games since returning, the athletic forward has provided a strong focal point, kicking five goals and taking some heat off youngster Jono Freeman.
McGuane had his most recent surgery seven weeks ago and thought his career was over, but now held hope he could play on into an 11th season.
"Initially I needed to prove to myself I could get through pain-free," McGuane told AFL.com.au.
"I wouldn't want to re-sign if I was going to be injured again all year next year.
"I'll be trying to get through this next block of games, finishing off the season pain-free and enjoying it, and then it's up to the club.
"I've got a fair bit to prove to the club after two years of being injured."
McGuane is highly regarded around the club and has a strong relationship with coach Justin Leppitsch.
Leppitsch was his assistant coach at Richmond before the pair both moved to Brisbane ahead of the 2014 season.
"Being with Leppa for five or six years, we've got a good relationship, so we're going to be honest with each other no matter what," McGuane said.
"If I feel I can't get through next year or he doesn't think I can, we'll be pretty up front with each other.
"It's amazing, the last three weeks I've played pain-free and am enjoying my football again.
"I wanted to give it one more go and once I got back out there I felt great.
"I was so frustrated for the last two years playing under duress with the knee, and every time I got out there I struggled, so to just be out there now - thinking seven weeks ago I wouldn't play again - it's so enjoyable."