Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is hopeful he can avoid surgery on a troublesome thigh problem and insists he is happy to keep playing.
The former Manchester United man has already endured two extended spells on the sidelines this season with the injury, initially suffered at the start of September.
He returned to the first team at the end of January, though Toffees manager David Moyes has since revealed the Republic of Ireland international has been playing through the pain barrier.
The club's medical staff are managing the problem with the hope of nursing Gibson through to the end of the season, though the fear remains he could break down at any time.
The 25-year-old is also keen to avoid surgery, which would require another lengthy lay-off, and says he is happy to keep playing with the condition.
"Fingers crossed it won't need an operation," he said. "I'm just managing it at the moment.
"I'm happy enough. I'm comfortable playing."