Caley Thistle defender Kevin McNaughton says the upcoming run of matches will determine whether he continues playing next season.
The 34-year-old has returned to training following a seven-month lay-off with a ruptured Achilles, which he suffered in a 3-2 defeat by Highland rivals Ross County in August.
It was initially feared the former Aberdeen player would be sidelined for the full season, casting doubt over his footballing future.
After returning to training earlier than expected, McNaughton says his performance in the remaining 11 matches of the season will be the decisive factor in his future, with his Caley Jags contract up in the summer.
Inverness face Partick Thistle at Firhill today and McNaughton said: “I’ve said to my wife that at the end of the season I’ll gauge how I feel. If I don’t feel like I can play or compete then I would call it a day.
“The next few months are obviously important for me to get up to speed and gauge where I am, in terms of my actual condition of my body.
“I probably surprised myself in terms of how quickly I came back and how well I’ve responded to all the training I’ve done so far.
“I’m feeling good, I’ll just play it by ear in terms of my games and look to try and get into an under-20s match and gauge where I am from there.
“I want to try and get as much game time as I can from now until the end of the season.”
McNaughton’s setback came as another cruel blow to the former Scotland international, who suffered a broken leg during a spell with Bolton Wanderers prior to a hamstring injury with Wigan Athletic last season.
The Dundee-born defender says this season’s injury surpassed anything he has suffered before however, and he said: “It’s the worst I’ve had, probably by some distance. Previously, I think the most I was out was two or three months.
“Six or seven months is a long time. I’ve worked hard and kept myself busy in the gym, so the transition in coming back into training hasn’t been as difficult as it could have been.
“It has been a nightmare, but thankfully I’m back a little bit sooner than everybody expected, which is good.
“It will just be some tough work for me over the next few weeks to try to get myself fully up to speed.”
Inverness are two points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership but McNaughton remains upbeat about his side’s chances of beating the drop, adding: “We’re obviously not in a great position and scrapping for every point. We’d like to win our home games and get as much as possible on the road.
“We have to forget our 4-0 defeat bCeltic in our last game. We had a couple of very decent performances before that, so we haven’t been playing too badly.
“The boys are still confident. I’ve become fully involved in training over the last couple of weeks and the standard has been very good. We’re looking to keep it going.”