Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel says he was told by a medical professional that he might never play cricket again.
Morkel, 32, has been unavailable for the Proteas since suffering from a back injury at the Caribbean Premier League in July 2016.
Since then, Morkel has made various attempts to return to the game after playing a Sunfoil Series match for the Titans and three warm-up fixtures during the Proteas' Test tour to Australia.
However, he was deemed unfit to play in the Proteas Test series victory in Australia last year as well as their whitewash Test triumph over Sri Lanka in January.
The fast bowler is hoping to return to the Proteas line-up for their Test series against New Zealand in March.
Morkel has also withdrawn himself from this year's IPL in order to be fully fit for the England Test series in July.
He spoke ahead of the Titans opening fixture of the One Day Cup, saying that he was doubtful over his cricketing career.
"No one was 100 percent sure of what was going on with my back and to be honest there was a time when I was in doubt about my future‚" Morkel told the Times Live website.
"I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again.
"One doctor actually told me that my days as a player were numbered, which was not a nice thing to hear."
Morkel will play his first game in three months when the Titans kick-off their One Day Cup campaign on Friday.
The Titans take on the Dolphins at Centurion on Friday (14:00).