Jamie McGuire will continue to go through the pain barrier until the summer before deciding whether or not an operation is needed on a niggling knee problem.
The Mansfield Town midfielder was back in action in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat on the awful sandy surface at Newport County after being taken out of the starting XI last week to rest the knee.
Boss Adam Murray said he had full trust in McGuire’s honesty over the knee problem, which should have been operated on last summer.
“He is good,” said Murray. “It didn’t really help him playing on a beach on Saturday. It was a bit tough for him.
“When he has a group of games he needs the odd week or two where we take him out and let his knee recover.
“But he’s been vital to us. Every winning run we’ve gone on he’s been in the team. We have to go off Jamie. Jamie determines when he trains.
“He is that honest with me he wouldn’t go into a game not being able to affect it. He wouldn’t let the fans down and I know he wouldn’t let me down.”
He added: “It’s just picking Jamie’s games. Jamie is not a 46 game a season player. If we want to play a certain way, Jamie won’t play. If we want to play another way then Jamie will play.
“He is massive for me. I have a lot of time for him. He is a fighter.”
Of McGuire’s broad Scouse accent, Murray smiled: “Even when he tells you there’s something wrong you can’t understand him so you just agree with him.
“If he is in pain I don’t know as I don’t understand what he’s saying to me.”
Now it’s a case of getting McGuire through to May.
“Jamie is a tough cookie,” said Murray. “He’s going to have something done. It’s going to be whether the time over the summer will allow it to heal as it needs to or if an operation is the best way forward.
“They wanted to operate pre-season just gone. But Jamie being Jamie didn’t want that to happen. I am happy that was his decision as we’ve needed him this season.
“Adam Chapman came back in last week and looked back to his best. Both of them play the role differently and both have different strengths, but both are very good players.”