Mansfield Town striker Craig Davies is to have an ankle operation to cure a problem that has hampered a season in which he has been in constant pain.
The 32-year-old summer signing from Oldham has tried hard to get by but has now admitted defeat and doctors found in an exploratory operation that Davies has bits of flaked-off bone getting trapped in his joints.
It has left Davies and fans frustrated and playing only to about 60 per cent of capacity.
“Over a six-week period now Davo has felt this discomfort in his ankle and he’s been having injections to try to cope with the pain,” said manager David Flitcroft.
“We had an exploratory operation done on it and found that some of the bone has flaked off and it’s getting trapped in different parts of his ankle joint.
“We’ve been trying to mask his discomfort with the injections to try and get through training and games.
“But it’s got to the point now where when it gets lodged and gives him a ‘nipping sensation’, and it takes him over a pain threshold he can’t go over.”
The club realise they can no longer keep ‘patching him up’.
“You can only have a certain amount of injections in your career, never mind in one season. Craig’s probably up to that level now,” said Flitcroft.
“He’s had four or five now since just after our last pre-season game.”
“We have tried to patch him up and get him out there but he’s probably been about 60 percent on his work. He’s not had that power in that ankle to give him a lift-off.
“It has hampered his explosive moment and drive. Once you get that on your joint it is difficult to drive off to get your take off.
“I don’t know a timescale on it. We are looking to get it done before everyone breaks up for Christmas at the hospitals. But once we get it cleaned up, hopefully it will settle down and we can start his rehabilitation programme.”