Troutie to play through the pain...hopefully

John 'Troutie' Davies earlier conveyed the desperate desire of the Stingers players to cling on to their places at all costs. The side's most multi-purpose cricketer has had a cortisone injection in a torn muscle in his left shoulder. It will hopefully see him through the Mervs fixture tomorrow, and probably for another eight weeks. By then Troutie hopes to have worked out a regime which will help him to manage the pain and continue playing.

The only other option is surgery, which would keep him out for between three and six months. Troutie is clearly anxious to avoid that, partly because he is aware that his place might be put in serious jeopardy with pressure growing on all places in the side.

He sustained the injury attempting a return catch off his own bowling during a midweek match down the Ynys last June and has already had two cortisone jabs. Three is the limit because of the potential long-term damage.

"I guess it's the stress you put on your shoulder and we've played a fair bit of cricket since I did it down the Ynys," he said. "Fingers crossed this cortisone will work for the next two months at least and hopefully I can manage it, keep it strong and limit it to as little pain as possible. There are never any gaps so how can you have three to six months off? Surgery is the last thing I want because you miss so much cricket and you never know how you're going to respond."

Troutie is a tough cookie with a high pain barrier both physically and mentally but it was clearly a dilemma for him. He has played 30 consecutive midweek games but for all his grittiness and runs the spectre of omission has always been looking over his shoulder, as it were.