Jamaal Lascelles played the second half of Newcastle's promotion season in pain due to a double hernia.
Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United celebrates after he scores the winning goal during the Premier League match against Stoke City.
Jamaal Lascelles has come to epitomise the positives at Newcastle United during a period when finding those has often been difficult to come by.
Having spoken open and honestly during the Magpies' eventually unsuccessful relegation fight in 2015/16, Lascelles impressed manager Rafa Benitez enough to be named captain for their season in the Championship aged just 22.
Rafael Benitez, manager of Newcastle United, arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match against Liverpool.
The centre-back played all but one of Newcastle's 44 league matches up until their confirmed promotion against Preston North End, but has now revealed the second half of the campaign he was constant in pain due to requiring a double hernia operation, which he delayed until going up was secured.
"One of my main strengths in terms of football is probably my athleticism but obviously with double hernias you can't move too much, you can't sprint, you can't turn, I couldn't use my left foot - not that I like doing that anyway - so it was quite difficult," Lascelles was quoted by the Newcastle Chronicle.
"I used to get injections before every game to mask the pain. Then training during the week, especially during the winter, was quite hardcore.
"It was one of them where it was an injury that can't really get worse so I just tried to get on with it because there was too much on the line for me not to be involved.
"The minute we got promoted, that’s when I got the operation done."
Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United scores his side's first goal during the Premier League match against Swansea City.
This commitment to the cause further outlines how important Lascelles has become at St James' Park in recent times, even if he was dropped by Benitez for the Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur.
However, an injury to new signing Florian Lejeune early on in that match saw the 23-year-old brought off the bench and he has played every minute of league football since, also scoring the winners in successive victories against Swansea City and Stoke City.
Born in Derby and a product of the Nottingham Forest youth system, Lascelles has been taken to the hearts of the Toon and it looks to be a relationship that will just continue to blossom.