Kirk Broadfoot admits his future may lie away from Rangers if he is not given the chance to hold down a first-team place by new manager Ally McCoist.
Broadfoot, who can play in any position across the back four, spent a large chunk of last season out of action through injury and has no intention of spending any more time on the sidelines.
Now fully fit, Broadfoot concedes he may have to consider a loan spell away from Ibrox if his opportunities to earn game-time are likely to be limited next term.
Asked if a loan move could be an option, he replied: "If I'm not seen as a first-team regular, then yes. I need to know where I stand. I've missed enough football and I don't really want to be here just covering positions to be honest. I want to be playing week in, week out. I'm at the age where I need to be doing that."
Broadfoot, 26, added: "I came here as a young boy from St Mirren and I expected not to play any games whatsoever and ended up playing in every game in Europe all the way to the UEFA Cup final.
"If it's a challenge, I'm up for the challenge and I'm ready to go but, at the end of the day, if I'm not given that chance to prove that I'm good enough to play week in, week out, then I would have to look elsewhere."
A foot injury means Broadfoot has not featured in a competitive match since the Champions League clash with Manchester United last November, but he says he is more than ready for the new season, which gets under way with the visit of Hearts on Saturday.
He said: "Pre-season has been short so I came back four or five weeks early to make sure I was ready to go. I've been unlucky with injuries over the last three seasons so hopefully this year I can get over that and move on.
"I love playing football and missing games frustrates the life out of me to be honest. It is part and parcel of being a footballer and you just have to be strong, deal with it, and get on with it."
So far, Rangers' only summer business in the transfer market has been the capture of Spanish midfielder Juan Manuel Ortiz from Almeria, but Carlos Cuellar could be set for a return to the Scottish champions after McCoist confirmed at the weekend that a fee has been agreed with Aston Villa.
Despite the prospect of further competition from the defender, Broadfoot would welcome the move.
He said: "We would love to have Carlos back here. Not only as a player - he is also a nice person. You can see the quality he has and that's why he went to the Premiership. I don't know if it's done yet but, if it is, then it can only be good for Rangers.
"If we get Carlos in and maybe another one, I think we will be defensively secure and we can hopefully get some bodies for elsewhere. As players, you always look at your own position and think it will be harder if new players come in, but it's a long season. When you look at last year, we were down to the bare bones at one point.
"Everyone in the squad will get used at some point so the more bodies, the better for us. It's a long season and, if we do pick up a couple of injuries, it could leave us short. We do need bodies in and I'm sure that will happen."