Carl Magnay has revealed he played through the pain barrier for Hartlepool United before a knee injury forced him out.
The club captain missed the weekend win over Braintree Town with a problem which, he admits, has plagued him for some time.
"I have been struggling with a knee problem for a few weeks," Magnay told Hartlepool United matchday programme The Blue Print.
"For me, I play in a game and don't reach the standards I set then I always want to bounce back in the next game but I think I've under-performed for the last three now.
"The game at Harrogate gave me the surest sign that the knee issue was starting to get on top of me.
"I want to be out there doing my best to help but I have to look at what is going to be most beneficial for the team and I think n ow is the right time to get some rest, let the problem settle and then get back out on the pitch as soon as possible."
Magnay has been impressed by the impact of Hartlepool's new signings, Luke Molyneux, Michael Raynes and Nicke Kabamba.
"Raynesy has come in and given us that experience and a vocal presence at the back which is exactly what we needed," he said.
"Luke is a clever player, who is sharp and quick and Nicke up front has scored goals at this level and is a real handful.
"As characters they've fit in really well already and I am sure they're going to prove assets to the squad for the rest of the season."