West Ham United's Mark Noble
The skipper has come under fire for his below par performances this season and Slaven Bilic was under pressure to drop the homegrown star.
While nobody could question Noble's commitment he - like most of the West Ham squad - failed to hit the heights of last season when the club finished just four points off the Champions League places.
He played an instrumental role in the season-defining 1-0 win over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
But on the eve of Sunday's match against Liverpool, the club has announced on its official website that Noble has been battling on through the pain barrier with a double hernia.
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic with Noble
With the club mathematically safe from relegation courtesy of the three points against Spurs, Noble has been sent for surgery and will miss the final two games.
West Ham fans have been reacting to the news on Twitter and while most were rightfully proud of the midfielder for his bravery, some saw it slightly differently even suggesting it has had a negative impact on the team.
Noble: Selfless or selfish? Hammers fans have been having their say
@WestHamUtd It sums up Mark Noble, West Ham throughout, don't think many fans knew this, the way they've knocked him!— John B Sheffield (@jaybs) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee Respect for his attitude but wrong to keep it from Slav and the medical team...— Philip 父 Wilkinson 父 (@PW57WHU) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee Very troubling that - for me, more irresponsible than a warrior...— Christopher Peacock (@Chriswhufc107) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee Few warriors have played on with serious injuries. Shows the type of characters we have— Max McLellan (@McLellanMax) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee I can understand Ogbona becouse we did not have any more CB's left. But Noble's... Not a thing to be proud of for me. Irresponsible.— Guille (@guille_armero) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee We have some poor fans if he's getting criticised for this. Ledge— jamie wright (@jamiewright1973) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee That would explain his turning circle going from London bus ( normal ) to 18 wheeler lorry!— paul smith (@pauleast84) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee how can people moan about this? It shows his true love for the club!— Aaron (@tintedmemories) May 11, 2017
@ExWHUemployee Unreal level of foolishness. Apart from Spurs game it showed.— Brian Thompson (@BrianT8400) May 11, 2017