Birmingham City's Gary McSheffrey has been playing through pain for more months than he cares to remember.
Remember the Manchester City match when Sun Jihai’s shoulder charge was laughably deemed a foul and McSheffrey stuck away the resulting penalty?
Well, an earlier tangle with Sun Jihai damaged his left knee and he’s not been 100 per cent since.
“I’ve had this problem around the patella tendon, a type of injury which is initially caused by an impact,” said McSheffrey ahead of Monday's game against Coventry City.
“When we played Manchester City in March I had this quite hard 50-50 with Sun Jihai, and that caused the niggling.
“In hindsight, I should have sorted something out in the summer, but it just felt like a minor ache at that point and I wanted to keep playing.
“I’m just glad we’ve got to the bottom of it now. Basically, it’s a type of tendinopothy and, after having spoken to a couple of people, the best cure is to strengthen it all up, which means I’m having to follow a 12-week rehabilitation programme, which I’ve just started.
“A lot of it is just about managing the knee and the pain, and hopefully next week I’ll be able to do some light running.”
“I did used to just get on with it, but it became so bad that I was in pain just walking up the stairs,” added McSheffrey, who said he hoped to be in action again by the end of the month.
When McSheffrey returns to the side again, he could become more selfish – in the right manner. He continued: “I think sometimes I’ve done far too much back tracking and that’s taken away from what I’ve produced at the other end.
“I’m looked at as one of those players who can win us a game by the manager, but I probably haven’t been giving myself the best chance of doing that.
“The way we are playing now, Quincy and James McFadden have been given a bit of a licence to roam, to concentrate more on the attacking side, and hopefully when I get a chance again I will be able to get that sort of role as well.
“I’m not saying that I’d ignore the defensive duties – you can’t, and I’d never do anyway – but if I’m not producing the sort of stuff that’s getting me and getting us goals and chances, then I’m not going to stay in the team.”