STANLEY winger Dean Calcutt is playing through the pain barrier as he waits for a double hernia operation.
The 28-year-old has only been able to make appearances from the subs bench in the last month although he has made a difference when he has come on. He was sub against Colchester in the FA Cup third round clash at the Interlink and made an impact almost helping Stanley get the winner.
His introduction against Burton in the FA Trophy was less favourable as he only came on in the last minutes and unfortunately he gave away a penalty. But against Colchester in Tuesday's replay he made Paul Mullin's goal and almost scored one but it was cleared off the line.
"It is hard coming off the bench but John puts me on hoping I can turn the game round and I think I have done alright in the Colchester games," he said. "I think we were unlucky on Tuesday and I did think I had scored - I hit it well, but someone cleared it off the line. I would like to think it might have crossed it but I haven't seen any replays. After the game, Eric Whalley came in and told us how proud he was of us. Now we have to concentrate on making the play-offs."
It has been hard as Calcutt has been thwarted by first a hand injury and now the hernia this season.
"I am on painkillers and waiting for an operation. I seem to be okay with the painkillers and I am hoping I can play through. I am hoping the operation will be in the next month and then it is about four-six weeks recovery.
"But at the moment, I just want to stay in the squad. We have a big squad here and it is hard just to do that at times so I am hoping I can stay in there, make an impact off the bench and hopefully come back fitter and stronger after my operation."
He knows Saturday's game against the promotion-chasing Shrews is a huge match.
"It is massive as, although we have enjoyed the cups, the play-offs are the main thing. We need to make sure we carry on our cup form into the league. It was tight in the last game against Shrewsbury and they won 1-0 when we could have won. I think we have something to prove against them."