World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan has said he is seriously thinking of "taking a year out" from snooker.
O'Sullivan said he was mentally drained
He revealed his intentions after losing to Peter Ebdon in the last eight of the World Championship in Sheffield.
"I probably won't play next year. I'll take a year off. I'll let you know before the season starts, but I'm 90% positive," said O'Sullivan.
"It's not an irrational decision. I've been thinking about this for quite a while and maybe it'll be good for me."
O'Sullivan added that the "physical and mental pain" of playing snooker was a prime reason for wanting a break from the game.
"I need to see a few people to see if it's worth coming back next year. Maybe if I have a year off and am quite happy I have another year off," he said.
"It breaks my heart to have to turn my back on the game. But I have to put myself first.
"It's not making me happy, mentally and physically it's taking its toll."
He also hinted, as he has on previous occasions, that he could quit playing professionally altogether.
"It may be the case I'm saying goodbye. You all have a special place in my heart. Thank you for your support."