Preston North End midfielder Paul Gallagher needs hernia surgery but is putting off going under the knife until more Championship points are on the board.
allagher has carried the groin problem for the last couple of months, with PNE managing his workload between matches.
It has not stopped the 31-year-old playing, with him starting 19 league games on the bounce since October.
The only break Gallagher has got recently was in last month’s FA Cup game at Peterborough when he was named as a substitute.
However, it was a brief respite with him called from the bench at half-time.
North End manager Simon Grayson told the Evening Post: “We thought around Christmas that Gally would probably get into January and then go for his operation.
“But he was quite happy to be managed, play for as long as he can do and hopefully get as many points as we can.
“We will reach the point where it is the right time for him to get the operation done.
“It needs doing but we are managing him between games.
“It doesn’t seem to effect him for large parts of the games, maybe just in the final few minutes.
“You saw at Derby the other night his range of passing, his shooting, his all-round awareness and experience.
“Gally has been a big player for us this season and we will keep looking after him until we send him to go under the surgeon’s knife.
“It is a hernia, an injury which a lot of players get.
“I had one as a player and played through it for quite a while.
“There are probably a few players in our dressing room who will need some kind of operation or recovery period in the summer because of what happens over a long, hard season.”
Grayson, meanwhile, says his planning for the summer transfer window has already started.
North End brought in Ben Pearson, Liam Grimshaw, Callum Robinson, Anders Lindegaard and Sam Johnstone during January, the stay for Johnstone being only a 28-day loan.
“We were looking for a couple of months before the window just shut, both for that one and with an eye on this summer too,” said Grayson.
“We are thinking about the summer, that is why we didn’t go out at the end of the window and potentially waste money on something we didn’t need or because we didn’t think we were getting the right value for money on a certain player we were going to try and get.
“That might change in the summer when we have a different outlook on available players – it might be that more money comes into the coffers.
“In the window just shut there was a lack of good quality players out there.
“Teams might have had money to spend but there was only really Middlesbrough who went out and spent some serious cash in the last few days of the window.”