Saints and England prop Alex Corbisiero will take a year sabbatical from rugby at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has endured a string of injury problems since impressing for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and last week underwent knee surgery.
However, it is the mental rather than physical toll that has led Corbisiero to decide to take time off at the end of the campaign.
“The decision was made before I knew that I would need that knee surgery,” Corbisiero told the Sunday Times.
“My contract with Northampton Saints was up at the end of the year and I just decided not to renegotiate with Saints or speak with any other club. I am not stopping because I don’t have options.
“It is a decision that I feel is necessary if, in the longer term, I’m going to be the player I want to be. It is way more mental than physical.
“It’s no secret I’ve had a number of injuries and there’s been some frustrating times. But mentally I am drained and I’m really looking forward to some time away from the game.
“Recharge my batteries, come back re-motivated, ready to crack on again.”