Cowboys winger Nene Macdonald will consider whether he still wants to pursue a professional rugby league career after being released by North Queensland seven months into a three-year deal.
Macdonald and the club officially parted ways on Friday morning following a traffic incident last month that remains under investigation.
"The release is by mutual agreement, with the club, Nene and his management deciding Nene needs some time away from the game," the Cowboys said in a brief statement.
The PNG international was a high-profile signing for the Cowboys after a strong 2018 campaign for St George Illawarra, but only managed five games for the club before a horrific season-ending ankle injury.
The Cowboys will continue to offer welfare and rehab support for Macdonald as he weighs up his future in the game.
NRL.com understands that Macdonald's struggles have been magnified by his stomach-churning injury suffered against Melbourne, though concerns over his commitment to the professional side of the game were already present.
Macdonald was dropped from a pre-season game after arriving late to a midweek training session, but retained for the Cowboys season opener against his former Dragons teammates.
His release from North Queensland comes less than a month after Macdonald was involved in a traffic incident on Magnetic Island.
A hire car leased in Macdonald's name was found abandoned and damaged on June 20.
Macdonald's release makes him the second Cowboys recruit to exit the club this year, after star signing Ben Barba was sacked and deregistered by the NRL over his well-publicised Australia Day incident.
Since debuting for the Roosters in 2011, Macdonald has 96 NRL games and nine Tests for Papua New Guinea to his name across stints at Bondi, the Gold Coast, St George Illawarra and North Queensland.