Darren Potter may be left on the bench for the rest of the season for risk of triggering a new contract at MK Dons.
The 32-year-old, in his sixth season at Stadium MK, needs just one more start to invoke a clause in his current deal, giving him another year at the club.
However, it is understood that manager Robbie Neilson, while keen to keep Potter for next season, wants to renegotiate the terms of the deal - likely a paycut - before considering him for a starting role again.
Potter has a made more than 250 appearances since signing from Sheffield Wednesday in 2011, and was named Player of the Year in his first season with the club.
Should his clause not be met, Potter would be out of contract and could leave for free.
Potter is one of eight first team players out of contract this season. David Martin, captain Dean Lewington, Ben Reeves, Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Chuks Aneke and Nicky Maynard are also in their final years.