DENVER (AP) _ Denver Broncos guard Mark Schlereth's injured left knee will force him to miss the rest of the season and could end his 12-year NFL career.
After talking with coach Mike Shanahan, Schlereth, 34, agreed to be placed on the injured reserve list. Within the next week he will undergo the 15th surgery on his knee and the second since Oct. 16.
Schlereth told Shanahan it was unfair to the team to carry him on the roster for four weeks without a guarantee he could perform even after a month off.
``They wanted to give me time to rest and recover, but the bottom line is I've got a pothole in my knee,'' he said. ``I just have a hunk that's not covered with any articular cartilage and every time I hit it, basically my leg collapses and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.''
The rehabilitation time from the expected microfracture procedure is expected to be four months. Following vigorous rehabilitation, by April or May, Schlereth said he would consider whether to end his career.
``At this point, I don't want to say that I'll never play again,'' he said.
Despite pain, Schlereth started Monday's game against the Oakland Raiders, but could not finish it.