Iwelumo plays through pain barrier

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STOKE striker Chris Iwelumo has put off having a knee operation to help the club in their bid to stay in Division One.

Iwelumo has been struggling with the knee problem for some time and he has been told he needs a minor cartilage operation to clear the injury up.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis paid tribute to Iwelumo's dedication and revealed he is likely to go under the knife in the summer.

"Chris has a slight knee problem which has been diagnosed as cartilage and although he is playing on, it is getting gradually worse," Pulis told the club's official website.

"He does need an operation but his attitude is terrific and we have agreed that if he can get through the remainder of the season and then have the operation in the summer, that would suit us both. He's happy to do that."