Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has hailed captain Stephen Carr for enduring the pain of a broken toe to feature in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Irish defender Carr needed daily injections to ensure he was fit enough to play in the Blues' first five Premier League games.
The 34-year-old was rested for Tuesday's Carling Cup win over MK Dons but will make his comeback against Wigan at St Andrews on Saturday.
"Stephen has been taking injections for the past month every day," said McLeish. "It is ridiculous the pain he is enduring.
"To endure the injections alone is quite a feat because these cortisones go right in deep and it is quite a tender area on his little toe.
"Stevie has still been playing to a high standard in training and in games.
"Unfortunately a wee bit of indecision cost us a goal at the weekend against West Brom.
"But it is very rare you see him make a mistake."
McLeish is hoping the impending two-week international break will allow Carr's knock chance to heal.
"It is difficult to get respite. We have tried to rest him in between games," he said.
"But he is the type of boy who doesn't want to miss training so you are in a bit of a Catch-22 situation.
"Hopefully the international break will give him a chance to heal properly."
McLeish is pleased to welcome striker Kevin Phillips back into the fold following his recovery from a torn thigh muscle.
The 37-year-old, who signed a new one-year deal in the summer, made his comeback in the final 20 minutes against MK Dons and looked sharp.
"It doesn't matter if Kevin gets on for only a couple of minutes. He will always try to get a shot away," said McLeish.
"You saw the man's hunger for goals, you've seen it all of his career, and he got into some bright positions against MK Dons."