Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has revealed he will need surgery at some stage to solve a persistent ankle problem.
The 22-year-old has been suffering with the problem since Christmas but has soldiered on through the pain.
But he knows he cannot carry on playing with pain-killers forever and will eventually need to go under the surgeon's knife.
The Northern Ireland international said: "At some point my ankle will need surgery.
"It is a problem that has been bothering me since Christmas.
"We thought it might have gone away over the summer but it is still there.
"Every now and again I catch it and it will be quite sore for a while. Then the pain dies off after a week or so."
Evans missed Northern Ireland's friendly against Israel last week as he had to fly home for treatment on the ankle.
But he has since featured in the Red Devils' first two Premier League matches this season, where Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were out injured.
Looking ahead, he may not be required against Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday because of the return of Vidic, plus the availability of Wes Brown.
However, Ferdinand is set to be out for another four weeks, which Evans acknowledges is a big blow.
He said: "Rio is a good leader, a very good defender and a great player.
"He is a big character who brings a lot to the team when he is playing."
United must bounce back against Wigan following the shock defeat at Burnley in midweek, with Evans admitting that the loss has caused some introspection among the squad.
"The players all look at themselves," he admitted.
"They are winners. They hate losing training games so it is no different in Premier League matches.
"They all know how the manager is feeling and how the fans are feeling. But it hurts the players too."
While Wigan also tasted defeat to Wolves in midweek, Evans will not be under-estimating Roberto Martinez's side.
Previously, the Latics beat Aston Villa 2-0 in the season opener, which included a wonder goal from Hugo Rodallega.
Evans added: "Rodallega wasn't really known last year but a few people are looking at him a bit more now after his goal at the weekend.
"In fact, a lot of people are taking an interest in Martinez for the work he did at Swansea and the way they played football.
"You don't really see that so much in the Championship but I am sure he will try to bring that same style to Wigan."