Penrith prop Tim Grant has informed the club and teammates of his decision to terminate his playing contract, effective immediately.
Grant will undergo surgery tomorrow after suffering a major pectoral tear in last week's win over the Sea Eagles.
According to a statement released by the club, there was only a small chance the 31-year-old prop could successfully rehabilitate the injury and play again this season.
Grant has denied the decision is a "retirement" and will spend the next few months weighing up his options for the future.
"While it’s obviously disappointing for my time with Panthers to end in these circumstances, I’m immensely proud of what I’ve achieved at the club," Grant said.
"I want to thank all the Panthers members and fans for their kindness and support over the years. I strongly believe in where this club is going and I don’t want to stand in the way of the next local junior getting his chance in the NRL."
Grant made his Telstra Premiership debut in 2007, played the 2015 season with Souths, spent the following three seasons with the Wests Tigers before returning to Penrith this year.
I’m immensely proud of what I’ve achieved at the club.Tim Grant
His seven games this year brings his career tally to 196, including 129 for Penrith.
Grant played two State of Origin matches in 2012 and also represented City four times.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary paid tribute to Grant’s contribution to the club, particularly the positive impact he made this season.
"Tim has been a true professional that our younger players have been able to learn from," he said.
"He demonstrates a ‘team first’ and ‘club first’ mentality, and through persistence and consistency of performance, he earned a starting spot this season. We extend our sincere thanks to Tim for his years of service to the club and wish him all the best for the future."
Grant's immediate departure will free up roster spot for a new player to join the club's top 30.
The Panthers have had to receive player exemptions for rookies Mitch Kenny and Brent Naden in recent weeks given the side's injury toll.
Kenny is now tipped to fill the void left by Grant, and with club confirmation this week he could even be available for selection against the Roosters after being named in the original 21-man squad on Tuesday.
Another spot on the roster could also become available this month with the future of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak expected to be finalised in the coming weeks. The Kiwis captain has been linked to join a rival club before June 30.