Paul Hartley has revealed that Darren O’Dea has been playing through the pain barrier in an effort to help Dundee through a difficult start to the season.
The big Irish defender, an ever-present in the Dark Blues’ starting line-up, had a solid game at the heart of the defence in the game against Celtic last Saturday, using all of his experience to limit the Bhoys to few chances.
But, since taking a kick in the Kilmarnock game a month ago — where he had to come off through injury — he has been troubled by a foot problem and has been taking pain-killing injections to get through games.
The manager praised O’Dea for his commitment to the cause.
Hartley said of his skipper: “Darren has been playing through the pain barrier since the Killie game.
“He has been taking injections to play in the games and it’s credit to him for wanting to play.”
The centre-half’s reluctance to stay on the treatment table speaks volumes about the player’s commitment to the Dundee cause.
His desire to soldier on through the injury and still be playing well enough to keep himself in the team shows how valued he is as a player at the club.
That display of commitment will also be lauded by the Dark Blues faithful who will be encouraged to see their captain leading from the front.
With a couple of tough games coming up, this weekend’s interational break will do O’Dea good, ensuring he is ready for the game against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday week.
Meanwhile, other than long-term injury victim James McPake, the only player on the treatment table is Tom Hateley.
The groin injury he suffered in the Inverness game was worse than first feared and he was forced to sit out last weekend’s clash with champions Celtic at Dens.
However, it’s hoped the rest will have seen a marked improvement on the problem by the time the next fixture in the capital arrives.
With no game this weekend, the manager has been using this week to work on the new defensive shape which coped well against Celtic.
The opportunity to iron out a few kinks will be invaluable as they set themselves up for the difficult trip to Edinburgh.